County aims for Edwards roundabouts in 2005 | VailDaily.com

County aims for Edwards roundabouts in 2005

Tamara Miller
Shane Macomber/Vail Daily Heavy traffic makes it's way through the Spur Road and Miller Ranch Road intersection during rush hour Friday in Edwards.
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EDWARDS – There are times when Katie Lankford has no use for her car’s left turn signal.When driving around Edwards – particularly when she’s trying to get on the community’s main thoroughfare, known as the Spur Road – she only turns right.”You’ll have to wait forever to make a left,” she said.

There are more than 17,000 vehicle trips on the Edwards Spur Road every day, according to a traffic study. That is expected to grow to more than 35,000 by 2025. The result: Gridlock at key points during the day. or at least as close to gridlock as a rural mountain community can get. After reviewing several plans, Eagle County’s engineering department has opted to pursue a less-expensive way of controlling traffic on the road. The $8 million plan calls for one roundabout on the north side of Interstate 70 and two on the south side of the interstate. Construction could begin in 2005, said Helen Migchelbrink, county engineer.

Lankford would like to see a roundabout at the intersection of the Spur Road and U.S. Highway 6, too, she said. So would the county, but trying to do that now could stall the project and increase the costs, Migchelbrink said. Making changes to a federal highway like U.S. Highway 6 requires several studies evaluating environment impacts. Those studies alone would cost about $1 million and would delay construction, she said. Improving the entire length of Spur Road up to Highway 6 would cost between $21 and $25 million, Migchelbrink said. The project the county hopes to begin next year focuses on the north half of the road.

“We wanted to make it more bite size,” she said of the project. Fixes to the rest of the road will be pursued later, Migchelbrink said. Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 607, or tmiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Colorado