Grand Avenue to be spruced up
EAGLE – Let’s face it: Grand Avenue is not all that grand right now. Over the course of the next few years, that will begin to change.The facelift is set to begin with construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Sylvan Lake Road and Grand Avenue, which is name Highway 6 carries through Eagle. That project is the responsibility of Eagle Ranch and part of an agreement made with the town of Eagle before the subdivision’s construction.”Our plan is to do the roundabout this summer,” said Eagle Ranch Project Manager Kent Rose, “Optimistically, we think the start would be between June 1 and Aug 1.”In their agreement with the town, Eagle Ranch committed to building any intersection the town saw fit at those two roads. The town settled on a roundabout. Rose said the roundabout will be similar to the existing traffic circle at Eby Creek. The roundabout will have a concrete apron around it to accommodate big trucks and trailers, and landscaping in the center and surrounding areas.
Railroad’s roleUnion Pacific Railroad doesn’t run trains along the Highway 6 route anymore. However, the railroad right-of-way land is a key part of the Grand Avenue makeover in at least two instances. To build the roundabout, Eagle Ranch needs an easement over some land owned by Union Pacific. “Because of geometry the roundabout pushes into railroad property,” Rose said. “We will pave up to the tracks on Violet Lane, and put in a crossing.” Rose describes the roundabout as “three-legged” because the leg on Violet Lane is a minor one. The major legs are the two on Highway 6, and the one coming in from the south on Sylvan Lake Road.Union Pacific has entered into a lease agreement with the town of Eagle that will allow the town to control parking and outside storage on the north side of Highway 6, and do limited landscaping. The landscaping along Highway 6 is part of more long-range plan for the town, and will likely coincide with future widening of that road.”We will conduct a corridor study along there, which will evaluate transportation needs for the future,” Town Manager Willy Powell said. “We will try to evaluate pedestrian needs, drainage and access to private property.”Further complicating matters is the status of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s airport-interchange project.
“CDOT has informed us that they don’t have sufficient funds for construction right now,” said Powell. “If that project never happens, it would add 20,000 vehicle trips per day between 2020 and 2025.”Eagle Ranch’s Rose said the roundabout they are building is designed to accommodate any traffic forecast through 2025. “That is about as far ahead as you can look,” he said.Mountain Steel clean-upWith a new lease agreement in hand, the town requested that Mountain Steel owner Phil Weber clean up his equipment – including a large crane – and materials on the railroad-side of Highway 6. He agreed to do it by the end of last week, and said he is glad to see the town showing some interest on this side of Eagle.”This whole part of town has been neglected for a while,” said Weber. “But it is an established area, and I think it can support business … It’s just as historic as Broadway.”
He has plans to remodel his store and put in a showroom, and would also like to add some trees and greenery on his property, he said. “This is not a real pretty business I’m in. Especially in the winter time it’s tough,” said Weber. “But we want to get a little more commercial look on the front end.”Gary Ratkowski, who owns Boyz Toyz and Sons at 433 Grand Ave., also wants to see something done at this end of town, he said. “There isn’t much of a business district here right now,” Ratkowski said. “They do need to clean it up, and maybe put in some landscaping. I don’t know what else they could do really.”He said that everyone has to clean up their act on Grand Avenue, and admits, “I’m as guilty as anyone.”