The Grand / Rio Grande Project (or West Side Arterial Project) was created to design and construct a two-lane minor arterial to reduce traffic loads on Townsend Avenue and improve north / south traffic flow through the city. The full project scope includes the segment of Grand / Rio Grande Avenue from North Ninth Street south to the intersection of Oak Grove Road and Townsend Avenue.
The first phase of the project involved conducting environmental studies and engaging community involvement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This process examined potential impacts on such things as wetlands, wildlife areas, recreational facilities, and home and business owners. The city hired an engineering and planning firm, Jacobs Carter Burgess, to complete the NEPA study and the second phase of the project.
Phase two included final design plans for the segment between North Ninth Street and South First Street, as well as right-of-way appraisal and acquisition services for the entire project corridor. Completion of phase two provided the city with documents and services needed to begin construction between North Ninth Street and South First Street.
The portion of Grand / Rio Grande Avenue between South First Street and North Fifth Street was completed during the 2012 construction season.
Construction of the segment from South First Street to Oak Grove Road will not be possible until funding and property acquisition issues are resolved.
Contractors working for the City of Montrose are scheduled to begin construction of the West Side Arterial Phase II roadway project in June 2017.
Following completion of Phase I of the project in 2012, approximately one million dollars of grant funding remained unused. The city will use these remaining grant dollars to complete Phase II of the project, which will extend Grand Ave from South First Street to South Third Street and take the roadway project as far south as possible within available city right of way. Future phases of the project to extend Grand Avenue further south will require the eventual purchase of abandoned Union Pacific right of way through the area.
Phase II's below ground improvements will include utility relocations, a waterline replacement, and new storm drain infrastructure. Roadway improvements will include sidewalks, curb and gutter, street lights, and new asphalt paving. The low bidder for the project was Rundle Construction from Hotchkiss, Colorado. Rundle completed Phase I of the West Side Arterial project and was the contractor responsible for construction of the recently-completed East Oak Grove and Sunnyside/Hillcrest improvement projects.
The entire project area will be closed off to the public throughout the duration of construction which is expected to last until November. A detour route will be established around the project area and motorists and pedestrians are asked to please respect all coned off areas and to obey all posted speed limits along project detour routes.
Cost and Funding
The project received $4.94 million in federal funding (Montrose West Side Arterial, Project #HPP M910-005) over a five-year period that began in 2006. The city provided 20% matching funds from the 1998 Revenue Bonds for a total project budget of $6.18 million.