The Cortez City Council Tuesday night gave direction to the public works department to write a letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation to seek approval to beautify medians for the gateway entrances to the city.
While not part of the Highway 160/491 South Broadway reconstruction project, installing medians could be done in conjunction with the current project to minimize the roadwork that would be needed to be done if it was done separately.
Council member Matt Keefauver said what the city needs to decide is whether to have greenery with any such proposal.
Do we want it to look like we have some vision?” he asked.
Nickerson added that most people would like to see some type of greenery.
If the project comes to fruition, only the inside lanes would be closed to minimize traffic impacts, he said.
Council member Bob Archibeque said he was in favor of looking into this but didn’t want the project to be turned into a hodgepodge.
The city would use $600,000 already budgeted for street improvements through city sales tax to begin the whole process.
Business owners in the Highway 160/491 South Broadway reconstruction project area do not think the current medians are attractive.
In the Broadway median city feedback that was completed Nov. 12, many said if medians are needed they should at least look nice.
A few businesses said they did not like the medians with one owner stating the city probably had better things to spend money on than medians.
Nickerson said if CDOT were to sign off on the medians soon, much of the concrete that would have to be removed would have already been done due to the South Broadway project.
“They will leave us set up,” he said.
Nickerson added the idea at this time is in the early stages.
“This is our first baby step,” he said of the letter he sent Wednesday, and added a presentation to CDOT would have to follow in order to convince them of the need.
City Manager Shane Hale said CDOT is now willing to look at things, which hasn’t always been the case.