Roundabouts part of I-76-Bridge interchange recommendation

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — City Council received an update on how plans for an interchange at Bridge Street and Interstate 76 are coming along during its May 13 study session. 

Ken DePinto, senior project manager with Atkins, shared with council that after considering the alternatives, it will be recommending a design with roundabouts on each side of I-76 in its environmental assessment.

“The reason is it makes it easier for the driver, there’s a better direction, it’s safer, the signing is simpler to do. These roundabouts are designed different that the ones that you have in town,” he said. 

According to DePinto, the design has the least amount of right-of-way impacts, which keeps the cost of the project down, protects the existing infrastructure of the bridge over I-76 and will allow the heaviest of trucks to negotiate through the roundabout with ease. He said they’re also incorporating improvements into the project that they’ve learned from previous experiences with roundabouts in other cities in Colorado. 

DePinto said they would like to deliver the draft to the Colorado Department of Transportation by June 1. CDOT will then review the document, make comments, and the city will then have to incorporate those comments into the document. They will then go through the same procedure with the Federal Highway Administration. 

When all the changes have been made, the document will be available for public review and comments at city hall over a 30-day period. DePinto said they hope to have that process finished by November. 

Streets and Fleet Director Joe Smith said Atkins will develop final cost estimates for the city but that the design has to be completed first. He said after the design is finished, they will begin to look for sources of funding. He believes it will be one and a half to two years before the interchange would be operational out there.

In other business: 

— After presentations from department heads, council members indicated they would not like to pursue plans to broadcast study session meetings, that they would provide sign language services for residents who plan to attend council meetings with notice 48 hours in advance, and that they would be willing to support new software that would help council meetings run more efficiently. 

— Members of the Brighton Youth Commission presented council with policies and procedures it would use to govern its new project, the Brighton Youth Corps of Volunteers. The commission has received interest from more than 200 youth for the Youth Corps and will be conducting a massive interview on June 3. The commissioners indicated they don’t plan on rejecting students but they will be interviewing potential volunteers and requiring them represent the city in an appropriate manner. 

— Parks and Recreation Director Gary Wardle told council the city was not selected as the Saturday night stop for Pedal the Plains this year. He said Sterling was selected because it was greatly affected by last year’s floods and Pedal the Plains will encourage tourism there. Because Pedal the Plains varies its routes throughout the state, he doesn’t anticipate applying again for another three years.