Snowmass Village this summer may experiment with a roundabout at one of the town’s main intersections.
The two- to three-month test would take place where Brush Creek Road meets Owl Creek Road, an intersection that the town has long wanted to improve. The test would familiarize emergency responders and residents to the roundabout before it’s constructed, which could occur in 2014.
Hunt Walker, the village’s public works director, said Friday that he has seen traffic back up on Owl Creek Road past the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.
It only happens when the town is at its busiest, usually Christmas and Presidents Day weekends, but there’s a danger in hampering ambulances or fire trucks from leaving the fire house near the intersection.
The main problem is vehicles trying to turn left onto Brush Creek Road. In traffic lingo, the intersection at its busiest “fails,” and fixing it is part of the town’s strategic plan.
Town Council at its next meeting on April 8 will be presented a straightforward roundabout design, a “mini” roundabout and variations on each, Walker said.
He said the town doesn’t have the money for a regular roundabout, which last year was estimated to cost $2.4 million. Construction of such a feature would involve relocating utility lines and building bus pull-outs and retaining walls.
The mini-version would utilize the existing asphalt for a single-lane roundabout, precluding the need to build retaining walls and move the utilities. That would drop the cost to less than $200,000.
The public works department at some point will also tackle the existing roundabout at Brush Creek and Highline roads, at the entrance to town.
“The mistake we made there was with the center apron and making it at grade,” Walker said.
The center was built at ground level “out of deference” to plow trucks, he said, but “some people drove right over it.”
After the repairs, it will have an elevated center similar to Aspen’s roundabout, he said.