The roundabout under construction at the north Interstate 70 interchange started acting like a roundabout yesterday.
“This is a significant change and its exciting to see we are getting somewhere,” said Eagle Town Engineer Tom Gosiorowski. “It is going to drive a lot different than it has before.”
Since July, motorists in Eagle have been contending with construction along the community’s busiest street — Eby Creek Road — as the town and the Colorado Department of Transportation work on a large-scale improvement project. As designed, all of the intersections between U.S. Highway 6 and Market Street will have roundabouts constructed during the next two years. Additionally, a new pedestrian bridge is planned over I-70. This year’s work includes construction of roundabouts at the north and south I-70 interchanges.
With the opening of the north I-70 roundabout, temporary traffic lights at the intersection will disappear.
“It’s still a construction zone and not everything will be complete,” said Gosiorowski. He noted a similar traffic pattern change at the south I-70 interchange will happen in a couple of weeks.
According to the official CDOT press release, all existing travel and turn lanes within the project area will be maintained both during and after the roundabout transition, and construction activities will continue in the area. After the reconfiguration, drivers will be required to yield to vehicles on their left prior to entering the roundabout.
“Currently, roundabout construction is still in progress, and work will continue in adjacent areas through November. Though this new roundabout is both safe and fully functional, motorists are still advised to drive with caution through the new traffic configuration,” noted the CDOT announcement.
During the transition, the Eby Creek Road and I-70 eastbound ramp intersection will remain unchanged. Access to homes and businesses will not be impacted.
As has been the case throughout the construction, Gosiorowski noted that two lanes of traffic will be maintained through the entire construction zone.
Pedestrians are encouraged to navigate the construction zone via the east side of the Eby Creek Bridge over I-70. Traffic control flaggers will be available during construction hours to help pedestrians cross traffic lanes.
Currently the project is in Phase 3 of construction. Work is concentrated on the I-70 westbound on-ramp, the south half of the I-70 westbound off-ramp, and the west half of Eby Creek Road north of I-70. Phase 3 construction is slated to end in early October and is progressing on schedule.
“The project is going well and Flatiron is doing a great job,” said Gosiorowski. “They are, in effect, ahead of schedule.”
When the roundabout work is completed for this year, crews will resurface the existing bridge over I-70 before breaking for the winter months. Next spring, work will begin at the Chambers Avenue roundabout, and hopefully the Market Street roundabout.
This year, the town and CDOT learned that an additional $3.5 million would be need to complete both the Market Street roundabout and improvements to the existing Highway 6 roundabout. Gosiorowski said project officials have applied to the state for the additional funding and the regional CDOT commission has recommended the state fund the work.
“We were excited to see we made the list because we are dead in the water without that,” he said.
The CDOT Transportation Commission will make a final decision Oct. 17 regarding whether or not the project will get the extra dollars.
Gosiorowski said he is optimistic the project will be funded, but even if the state says no, he will explore alternate funding scenarios to complete the Market Street roundabout work.