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Additional analysis was conducted to determine the length of lanes and widening needed in all directions from the intersection with this project. In addition, the Town plans to widen 5th Street to the east from this intersection to Gilbert Street as a separate project in 2023. Ridge Road is also planned to be widened south of the Four Corners intersection to Plum Creek Parkway as a separate project later in 2022. The 5th Street and Ridge Road widening projects will include bike lanes. Widening of Founders Parkway to the north of the intersection is also included in the Douglas County Transportation Plan.
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The Improved Signalized Intersection alternative was chosen as the recommended alternative. The intersection will be controlled by a traffic signal, and lanes will be added on all legs of the intersection, including an additional through lane in every direction, double left turn lanes for northbound and southbound traffic, and a separate southbound right turn lane. Islands on each corner will allow for free right turns. Protected left turns will be included (where drivers can only turn left with an arrow signal) and are to be programmed by time of day to change to a flashing yellow arrow.
This project will accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians in a safe manner. On-street bike lanes will be carefully considered with the speeds and volumes at this intersection. A pedestrian overpass is not planned due to the high cost of that improvement. Widened sidewalks and improved at-grade crossings will be included.
On the east side of Ridge Road, the Founders Marketplace access will remain in the current location. The Founders Marketplace accesses at Ridge Road and Highway 86 were evaluated with the project design and it was determined that turn lane lengths and transitions would not allow for improved accesses due to traffic signal operations and available right-of-way, so the existing accesses will be maintained in their current state as right in/right out turning movements.
On the west side of Ridge Road, the existing access to the Emmaus Anglican Church will be removed, and a new access constructed on Fifth Street across from Bader Court. The Town is working with the property owner to develop the best solution.
Improvements were designed to accommodate traffic at least through the year 2040. The regional travel demand model developed for the Douglas County Transportation Plan was used to forecast traffic volumes. This takes into consideration future development and roadway network improvements through the year 2040.
Construction is expected to begin in summer of 2022 and will likely be finished in 2023.
Details such as construction phasing, lane closures/shifts, and detour routes will be determined by the contractor once they are chosen in summer 2022. The Town anticipates construction can be completed through a sequence of lane closures and doesn’t anticipate directing detoured traffic through nearby neighborhood streets. Every possible effort will be made to minimize impacts to vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic.
Although roundabouts are a good solution in many locations, they aren’t ideal for an intersection such as this with high traffic volumes and high turning movement volumes. A roundabout here could operate well until 2030 when increasing traffic volumes would create congestion and queues on the roadways leading into the roundabout. In addition, the multiple lanes needed for a proposed roundabout at this intersection could cause driver expectancy issues and crashes. The Improved Signalized Intersection provides a longer-term solution and has more flexibility for small modifications to address specific heavy turning movements.
Community member input from the first online public open house confirmed the recommended improvements. A second open house was held in July 2021 to gather feedback regarding the preliminary (30%) design. Community member suggestions are being used to optimize improvements and minimize impacts as the design is finalized. Please join the project mailing list to receive notices of other project updates, and/or send comments through the project web page.