Mountains

Newsmakers: South Broadway Project

Sam Green/Cortez Journal file

Nothing lights the fuse to frustration quicker than traffic problems.

In 2012, two major projects tormented motorists. The Highway 160 paving project between Cortez and Mancos, then to the east of Mancos, led to lengthy stops.

But it was the South Broadway project that irritated both motorists and business owners for nearly half the year. And it won't be completed until the spring of 2013.

The project included an extensive upgrade at the Seventh Street intersection as well as paving, concrete and curb and gutter work throughout the stretch of South Broadway.

There have periodic closures along with lane reductions or lane shifts for months.

Business owners have been saddled with the greatest frustrations. With the lane closures, alternative access points to the businesses along South Broadway were necessary and many business owners reported a drop in customers.

High Country Auto decided to open a second sales spot on the east part of Cortez to combat the construction and access problems along South Broadway.

Even though the contractor and the Colorado Department of Transportation continued to promise that the project was on schedule to meet its mid-December completion deadline, it was finally announced that the project wouldn't be done before the end of the year.

Citing unforeseen problems encountered by the contractor, CDOT granted Lawson Construction an extension. The remaining work needs to be completed when the temperatures are warmer.

It's been a long six months for the people who use South Broadway to drive, work or shop. The inconvenience isn't quite over and that's not good news.

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