West Side Arterial Project

Project History

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 9th 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 9th Street and South 1st 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 9th Street and South 1st Street. 

The portion of Grand/Rio Grande Avenue between South 1st Street and North 5th Street was completed during the 2012 construction season.  

Most Recent Progress

Construction of Phase II of the project, the segment of Grand Ave from South 1st to South 3rd Street, was completed in November 2017. Elements of the project included replacement of an aging waterline, construction of a stormwater collection and treatment system, installation of fiber-optic conduits, street lights, concrete sidewalk, curb, gutter, paving, and landscaping. The project was funded using federal grant dollars administered through the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Following the completion of Phase I in 2012, approximately $1 million of grant funding remained unused. The city used these remaining grant dollars to complete Phase II of the project, which took 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.  

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.