Mancos officials broke ground Monday on a pedestrian crossing project that has been in the works for more than a year.
A crosswalk at the intersection of Beech Street and U.S. Highway 160 will help people travel safely between the north and south sides of Mancos.
Town Administrator Andrea Phillips said they chose the crossing because Beech Street leads to the Mancos school campus.
“Hopefully, this is the first of many improvements along the highway,” Phillips said Monday.
The crossing will include a “pedestrian refuge” in the middle of the highway with a concrete barrier, according to a press release. The right-in, right-out island on the north side of the highway will be reconstructed, and a similar island will be added to the south side of the highway at Beech Street.
New signs, crosswalk striping and solar-powered flashing beacons also will be added to alert drivers to pedestrians who are crossing the road.
Construction is expected to last about six weeks, with crews working from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the release.
The south side of Beech Street and the Frontage Road will be closed for about one week, and the north side of Beech Street will be closed for two to three weeks.
Traffic on U.S. 160 will not be impacted significantly, according to the release.
Total cost of the project will be just over $304,000. Colorado Department of Transportation will contribute about $75,000, and the Department of Local Affairs will contribute another $119,000.
The Town of Mancos will contribute about $111,000. D&L Construction of Cortez was awarded the construction contract for the project, and Russell Planning and Engineering of Durango completed design work.
Mayor Pro Tem Fred Brooks said lots of thought and engineering went into the project to determine the access point for such a crossing. The project will be the second crosswalk across the highway in town, along with the intersection of U.S. 160 and Colorado Highway 184 at the stoplight.
Mancos Mayor Queenie Barz said the crossing will be especially important for the school kids who live on the north side of town.
“We’re really, really excited,” she said.
“It’s going to be a great addition to our town.”