Why has 32nd Street been turned into a ravine and at what cost? In comparison with many in-town roads, it was not in
need of repair. - Stephanie O.
Stephanie's letter wasn't the only inquiry about roadwork on 32nd Street. More than a few resident motorists weighed in
about the sudden reconstruction project.
But Stephanie's was the only e-mail that didn't contain curse words and slanderous accusations.
The road may have seemed OK on the surface, "but an analysis of the pavement showed that it needed replacement," said
City Manager Ron LeBlanc.
"The road was close to failure, based on our annual tests," confirmed City Engineer Gregg Boysen.
Knowing that Florida Road would be torn up next year, the city opted to give 32nd Street a quick makeover in
preparation for an anticipated crush of detouring motorists.
Traffic figures show that 32nd already is one of the city's busiest roads, so imagine if it were allowed to reach the
deplorable condition of Florida Road?
A little inconvenience now will save a ton of costly work later. All that 32nd needed was a scalp job and new asphalt,which will be completed before Thanksgiving.
The 32nd Street work will set the taxpayers back $350,000 - or less than the cost of a house, even in this depressed
real estate market.
The utterly contemptible Florida Road, on the other hand, will take more than 15 million smackaroos to bring it up to
Let's look on the bright side. A least the city isn't going to install cement barriers down the middle of either
Can you tell me who is the genius who closed the only two Post Office substations, then tore up the pavement in front
of the Main Post Office, making it almost impossible to get into it? Are they really trying to drive us to FedEx or
UPS? Help! - Pat Chatfield
The April closure of the postal substations was the decision of the subcontractor who operated them.
But the "genius" behind the more recent roadwork in front of the Main Post Office?
"That would be me," said the affable Gregg Boysen, city engineer.
The work isn't designed to steer shippers to private carriers. It's part of the city's ongoing plans to make downtown
more pedestrian friendly and provide better access to the Transit Center.
"The project will widen the sidewalk and include shade trees," Boysen said. "It's going to be a big improvement."
Barring any disasters, the street project should be completed today, way ahead of the Christmas card rush.
If you haven't had your fill of asphalt, the Mea Culpa Mailbag adds two road rejoinders:
b Regarding last week's column about the dubious initiative to rename U.S. Highway 160 west as "Durango Boulevard,"
loyal reader Stuart Shore provides an interesting insight:
"If Durango wants to rename streets, why can't they rename Goeglein Gulch and make the street a continuous College
At various stages, the road can be called Goeglein Gulch Road, County Road 238, College Drive and North College Drive,he says of the road whose in-town section also used to be called Sixth Street.
Stuart points out aesthetic considerations.
"An attractive street named 'Gulch' overlooking the golf course is not very pretty," he writes.
b Another loyal reader who goes by the moniker "Rationalizing in Durango" has come to terms with that pork-barrel
structure in Grandview.
"Enough with the complaints about the 'Bridge to Nowhere.' Don't people get it? If they would just quit imposing their
egocentric expectations that the thing has to 'function,' they would be a lot happier. Just relax and go with the flow.
See it for what it is: interactive public art."
to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You
can request anonymity if you can explain why some roads are signed "Dead End" while others are signed "No Outlet."