No (current) CDOT $ for Ridge/Hwy 24
The Ridge Road/ Highway 24 intersection may warrant an overpass in the future, but it doesn't even merit a center lane at present.
In the wake of a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) study in June that determined a stoplight is unjustified, state engineers recently concluded that an interim fix - a center “refuge lane” - is not affordable.
Such a lane would have been striped into the highway, removing a segment of the existing raised median for the purpose, to give Ridge Road left-turners (some of them coming out of Red Rock Canyon Open Space) a less precarious way to merge into highway traffic.
“Our engineers did a field review and determined that the proposal can't be done on existing asphalt within the design parameters,” Terry Shippy, a state traffic operations engineer, explained in response to a follow-up e-mail from the Westside Pioneer. “At this time we do not have the funds to construct the proposal according to design standards.”
Asked how much money is needed, he said that information cannot be figured without an engineering cost estimate, which is not currently scheduled to occur. In any case, “it is much more than the fix I thought we could do.”
He added the hope that “the future SH [State Highway] 24 widening project will address this intersection. In the meanwhile we will monitor the safety of the intersection.”
The term, “widening project,” refers to an expansion of Westside Highway 24 between I-25 and Manitou Springs (currently in the planning process). Partially in response to public input, CDOT engineers in that process have proposed a future overpass or stoplight at Ridge. However, the earliest any widening work could begin - assuming project funding becomes available - would be 2012, CDOT engineers have said.
Shippy had implemented the stoplight study at the request of Westside businesswoman Marti Powell. But a two-day study, combined with data research, found the intersection falling short of state stoplight requirements in terms of traffic volume and numbers of accidents.
Powell is not giving up on the idea, however. Convinced that the intersection is dangerous, she said she is thinking about possible ways to build public/political support that might lead to a stoplight in the nearer future than 2012.
Westside Pioneer article