Lundberg hosts town hall meeting on danger of 56/I25 interchange
By Rudy Hemmann
On Saturday, March 24, 2018, approximately 40 residents of Berthoud and the surrounding area attended a town hall meeting to express their extreme displeasure with conditions as they currently exist on the south-bound entrance from Highway 56 on to Interstate 25.
The meeting was called by Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg after he had received several complaints from residents who regularly use the Highway 56/I-25 interchange. Lundberg acted as moderator for the session. State Representative Perry Buck, who is on the Colorado House of Representatives Transportation Committee, was also in attendance.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) representative was called on to address the disgruntled throng was Region 5 Director Johnny Olson, and he got an earful from those in attendance during the one-hour and 20-minute session. The complaint by the public is the southbound merge lane is much too short and there is practically no visibility of oncoming traffic as the merge lane ends.
More than one speaker stated the I-25 merge lane is nothing better than an accident waiting to happen, with the rhetoric, at times, escalating from there. Several people in the audience voiced their belief that the Highway 56 interchange is one of the worst in the state.
Olson pointed out there were several factors which, when brought together, can create hazardous conditions. The cause of the acceleration lane being too short in this situation is the looming Little Thompson River bridge that effectively cuts the acceleration lane off. Then there are semi-truck drivers trying to work their way over to get into the far right “climb” lane as they prepare for the long trek up “Berthoud Hill.” It was also noted when Love’s Travel Center is completed and open for business there will be trucks, and cars, vying for position on the southbound entrance ramp of I-25.
Olson stated several times during the course of the meeting that a lack of funds was the reason issues with I-25 had not been resolved.
Three suggestions from the audience to help remedy the situation were:
- Restripe the bridge
- Widen the bridge, if possible
- Consider the possibility of putting a temporary bridge and temporary entrance ramp in (Don’t wait until construction of the newly designed interchange begins.)
Each of these suggestions will be evaluated by Olson’s team of engineers and the results communicated to the town.
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