State officials approved funding Wednesday for the construction of La Plata Countys first park-and-ride at the new Grandview reroute, an intersection renowned for dangerous driving hazards before its reconstruction last year.
The Colorado Division of Transportation will award 80 percent of the $120,000 needed to fund the project, planned for the revamped intersection at U.S. Highway 160 and county roads 222/223, about seven miles east of Durango.
This will be the first official County park-and-ride, and hopefully the first of many, said Jim Davis, director of public works for La Plata County.
Preliminary plans are set for a paved, 20-space lot and, with enough funding and space, an overflow parking area on an adjacent gravel surface, Davis said.
Road Runner Transit, a division of Southern Ute Community Action Programs Inc., is anticipated to service the park-and-ride, County Manager Shawn Nau said.
Nau said the lot will serve as a multipurpose meeting area for car poolers, cyclists and commuters alike.
Access will be from the new frontage road located at the northeast corner of the County Road 225A-U.S. Highway 160 intersection.
Money for the project will be available at the start of fiscal year 2012.
We would hope to complete the project before next winter, Davis said.
Recent bills in both the House and Senate have decreased motor vehicle registration fees that would have gone toward Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery, the program responsible for several state transportation projects including the new park-and-ride, CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said.
Its safe to say the decrease in FASTER funds as a result of the House and Senate bills passed last year will not be significant, Shanks said.
FASTER originally was part of legislation passed in 2009 under Gov. Bill Ritter that raised motor vehicle registration fees.
The city of Durango also will receive about $1.6 million from statewide and regional transit project grants, which will go toward bicycle and pedestrian trail extensions, Shanks said.
One extension will bring a path from the new intersection east to Three Springs, and another will bring the Animas River Trail from WalMart east to Farmington Hill, she said.