You can make a full circle in Avon
Vail, CO Colorado
AVON ” There’s a lot of construction going on in Avon this summer. Here are some updates for the major projects.
Drivers can now circle the roundabout at Benchmark and Avon Road, which actually makes sense to Eagle-Vail resident Beverly Craig, who drives through Avon every day.
“Makes it easier to get around,” Craig said. “It was never that big a deal to me, but it helps.”
That roundabout, which for years had a median preventing 360 degree movement, has been a sore and confusing spot for many people over the years. For instance, someone driving east on Benchmark from the library had to turn right on Avon Road, drive to the Beaver Creek roundabout, turn around, and drive back north Avon Road to get to Loaded Joe’s for a cup of coffee.
That median has been torn out, and drivers can now cross Avon Road at the roundabout.
The project also involved building new crosswalks, sidewalks, curbs, gutters and roadways, and some work is still being done. The southern portion of the intersection was raised and widened so drivers going through the roundabout have enough room and aren’t on a steep hill.
This new roundabout also plays into Avon’s plan for revitalizing its downtown area. Planners are looking to make west Avon into plaza full of shops, restaurants, a parking garage and easy access to Nottingham Park and the Westin Riverfront Village.
By making it a “full” roundabout, the east and west sides of town will be better connected, planners say.
Work will begin next week on a transportation center that aims to tie together town, county and ski-shuttle buses. The center will go on Benchmark Road, just west of the current center.
The new center will be much larger and can hold up to six buses, which town planners say will solve the congestion that sometimes occurs during the morning rush. It will be easier for people to catch their buses and easier on drivers who are sometimes stuck behind buses picking up passengers.
The center will provide access to the Westin Riverfront, a village of shops, restaurants, hotel rooms and a gondola to Beaver Creek Mountain that is now under construction.
“The new transportation center will be the epicenter of Avon,” engineer Jeff Schneider said. “Within a five-minute walk or less people will be able to get to almost every hotel in town, the new Main Street, the Westin Riverfront with its gondola connection to Beaver Creek Resort, Nottingham Park and the Eagle River. Anywhere you want to go in Avon, you’ll be able to get there from the transit center.”
The town received a $2.1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation to build the center, which should be completed by November.
Construction began May 25 on two railroad crossings that will connect Avon to the Westin and to Riverfront Drive.
The east railroad crossing will provide direct access from the new transit center to the gondola as well as access to the town center. The crossing will be pedestrian-friendly and will feature decorative pavers and posts to separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic.
The west railroad crossing is near the town’s municipal building and will connect Benchmark Road and Riverfront Drive. Benchmark Road will eventually be straightened and will align directly with the west railroad crossing. Union Pacific Railroad is also raising a portion of the tracks and installing new track crossings. Both railroad crossings should be completed by early August.
Construction crews will start repairing cracks on West Beaver Creek Blvd. next week.
In Wildridge, Saddle Ridge and Bear Trap Road will be widened and have a pedestrian lane added. This will start in July.
On Eaglebend Drive, the town will install a 10-foot-wide bike path, add lighting and realign the road. Ornamental lighting will be added to the Stonebridge Road bridge. Both of those projects will begin in July.
Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or email@example.com.
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