Drivers can expect traffic delays for the remainder of the week just west of the DoubleTree Hotel intersection as the Colorado Department of Transportation constructs a new median.
U.S. Highway 160 in west Durango will have a single through lane and left-turn lane closures from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., said Nancy Shanks, spokeswoman for CDOT.
Roosa Avenue, the only alternative route into town from Highway 160 West will be closed for the entire week.
“Because our city doesn’t have any other viable alternate route into town, it makes it difficult for motorists,” she said. “It’s an unfortunate situation for this week’s construction zone.”
Jason Endres, a truck driver, said it took about 40 minutes to travel just over a mile Monday morning.
“They don’t have any flaggers out here. They should be doing this manually instead of just letting people go through the light,” Endres said.
Elizabeth Jacobs, another driver waiting in the traffic, said she waited more than 50 minutes.
There was nothing that warned drivers of the delays, she said.
CDOT crews are working as quickly as possible to get the construction done, Shanks said.
In the meantime, to mitigate the extreme traffic delays, CDOT reconfigured the work zone, allowing traffic to pass through the U.S. Highway 160 west intersection more efficiently.
CDOT has opened an additional left-turn lane and has retimed the traffic signals to allow drivers coming from west of town on Highway 160 more time to get through the intersection, Shanks said.
Adjusting the traffic signals will not negatively affect the other intersection’s traffic queues, she said.
The combination of opening an additional lane and adjusting the traffic signals quickly eased waiting traffic, she added.
However, Shanks warned the changes made will not completely diminish the traffic delays, but they should certainly help.
With the temporary changes, drivers can expect a 5-minute delay rather than a 40-minute delay, Shanks said.
Later in the week, when CDOT begins pouring the concrete median, maintaining the two eastbound lanes will not be an option.
Drivers should continue to expect traffic delays through the week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Shanks said. Drivers are encouraged to plan for extra commuting time.
Work on current phase of the west leg of Durango’s reconfigured main intersection is expected to be finished Friday afternoon. However, Shanks said as work progress throughout the summer work is expected to return to all legs of the intersection at various times.
“What I can say is we’re essentially done with the project north of College Drive,” Shanks said.
An alternative route for drivers is to take Wildcat Canyon Road (County Road 141) and turn onto County Road 210, which comes out near Office Depot and just south of Santa Rita Park on South Camino del Rio.