Durango, CO: Aging sewer and water lines – some of which are 70+ years old - would be replaced downtown before any road construction is done for the Downtown’s Next Step Design project under a proposal city councilors will consider in the coming weeks.
At their study session Tuesday, council will hear an update on the project by the city’s multimodal division, which will be asking for an additional $120,000 for Phase 1 to design two blocks of Main Avenue in the 600 and 700 blocks.
Design work for the downtown project is being carried out in phases. The multimodal division and the city’s new Capital Improvement Program Division identified an opportunity to coordinate their efforts and avoid potentially building a new roadway downtown, only to have to dig it up later when the sewer and water lines need to be replaced. The coordination is part of the city’s Strategic Plan goal of “High Performing Government” through partnerships and efficiencies, which ultimately saves the taxpayers money.
“This collaboration between departments prompts our utility division to consider the opportunity to design improvements to the sewer and water infrastructure downtown that makes use of the survey work being done for the Downtown’s Next Step Design project,” said Public Works Director Allison Baker.
Devin King, the city’s multimodal division manager, said the additional $120,000 sought is not anticipated to increase the total cost for design of the full corridor. “The design is being carefully coordinated to mitigate impacts to business access and operations,” he said. “As with any construction, there will be impacts; however, the plan is to phase construction to better work with businesses and there have been discussions about promotion opportunities for impacted businesses during construction times.”
Downtown’s Next Step is a design project to make downtown more accessible and safe by extending curbs, widening sidewalks, improving bicycle facilities, adding landscaping as well as making parking more accessible. The conceptual plan preferred by the public maintains a three-lane configuration and does not change traffic patterns. A preliminary traffic study did not find adverse traffic impacts to the corridor.
Council would formally vote on the request for additional funding at their Sept. 19 regular meeting.
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