Underpass to Pass Under Camino Under Way

8/13/2021

A proposal to design an underpass connecting 12th Street and Veterans Way across Camino del Rio is expected to be approved this month by the Durango City Council, launching a yearlong community outreach effort to design the pedestrian crossing that will provide safer access from the Animas River Trail to downtown Durango.

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The long awaited project to design and build an underpass under Camino Del Rio will soon be underway. You are watching The Local News Network, brought to you by Serious Texas Bar-B-Q and San Juan Basin Pubic Health. The City of Durango is expected to approve a contact for a firm to design an underpass under Camino Del Rio in August. The underpass was selected as the preferred alternative to replace the on-demand pedestrian stop light at River City Hall in a study completed in 2020.

The study did look at overpasses. It looked at, you know, at grade crossings, so your typical light crossing so similar to what we have now at 12th Street, where it's the hawk. So took a look at all of that, came up with short term, long term recommendations. And so for the long term recommendations, it's creating, or it may be mid-term recommendations, but it's creating an underpass under Camino right around the twelfth to Veteran's Way area.

Early construction estimates place the project cost at about $3.7 million. King said an overpass was rejected because of the amount of space it would require to provide wheelchair access ramps and pedestrians tend to ignore overpasses and cross at street level. The Colorado Department of Transportation said that the crossing doesn't meet federal regulations for a regular traffic light. Camino del Rio is the north south route for US highway 550 through downtown. From it's intersection with US highway 160 to Main Avenue. US highway 550 is a federal highway, subject to federal regulations. It averages 30,000 car trips a day in winter and 40,000 car trips a day in summer. King said public meetings to design the underpass will begin this fall and are expected to conclude in late summer in 2022. Construction is expected to start the following year. To follow progress on the underpass project visit durangogov.org and search for Camino Crossing. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network.

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