Montezuma County commissioners reported Monday that they have reached a deal with Colorado Department of Transportation to keep the intersection as it is, but add safety features.
CDOT had planned on allowing only right-hand turns onto and from Road BB, which has drawn sharp opposition from Pleasant View residents for two years. County commissioners also objected to the plan.
But after negotiations last week between county and CDOT officials, the contentious plan was dropped.
“I can confirm that we have agreed to not pursue a right-in, right-out for the intersection,” said CDOT communications manager Lisa Schwantes. “To improve safety, we will be evaluating different options.”
The commissioners said they and CDOT officials discussed installing signs that automatically light up when vehicles approach, warning drivers about the dangerous intersection.
“They could be put up on Highway 491 and Road BB to warn drivers coming from different directions,” said commissioner James Lambert.
CDOT targeted the roadway for improvements because a hill shortens sight distance at the intersection, traffic has increased on U.S. 491, and the intersection has a history of crashes.
During a series of public meetings organized by CDOT and county commissioners, Pleasant View residents opposed limiting access at the intersection, arguing that farmers and ranchers rely on it for their work.
The county rejected a CDOT offer to close the intersection in exchange for $630,000 for road improvements in the Pleasant View area.
Westbound Road BB is signed as a designated route for visitors to Hovenweep National Monument, but tourists sometimes become confused by the intersection, adding to the danger. The county road department is working with monument officials to move the signs and reroute monument traffic north to the safer Road CC intersection.
Road CC to the Road 10 intersection is in the process of being upgraded to better accommodate local traffic and visitors to public lands. Kinder Morgan has allocated $1.5 million to help pave Road CC, and the county has applied for a grant from the Department of Local Affairs for additional improvements.