CR 517 will see improvements

Southern Ute Tribal Planner, Edward Box III provides information on how the development of CR 517 will be managed.
Southern Ute Police Department Chief of Police, Ray Coriz, looks over the development plans for CR 517.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

A development plan has been introduced that will oversee improvements on County Road (CR) 517, which began in 2013. The development is expected to improve public safety along CR 517 by adding sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and an additional stoplight that will intersect CR 517 and State Highway 172. Furthermore, the development will see improvements in traffic flow by adding a two way left turn lane (TWLTL), as well as eliminating driveways along CR 517.

Funding for the project will come from DOLA (Energy Impact Grant), Bureau of Indian Affairs, La Plata County, and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

The current conditions of CR 517 have been described as old and distressed, with limited crosswalks and no signalization. After years of careful planning, action has been taken into effect.

“[This development] is for the safety of the membership as well as tribal staff,” said Edward Box III, tribal planner. “We have to set a plan about what’s going to be done so we can find the right solutions. That’s why we get opinions from the tribal members and staff.”

Development on the road will begin summer 2016 and will continue until the fall. The improvements will extend 0.6 miles to Howe Drive, just past the motor pool. A three-lane road will range to Peaceful Spirit with a TWLTL.

“Our goal is to collaborate with the county,” April Toledo, construction project manager said. “The main focus here is pedestrian safety. We’re here to provide that for our community.”

Some concerns about the development have been addressed, but they are slim, according to Toledo.

“We had some comments on how an additional stoplight might not be necessary, but it’ll held reduce traffic clutter.”

“A concern I’ve heard is regarding road closures that go into CR 517, but that’s minimal,” Box said. “We’re excited to get this development underway.”


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