The Pueblo Chieftan

Safety concerns prompt new Pueblo West roundabout

A busy and accident-prone intersection in Pueblo West will be the future home of the county’s first roundabout.

The large, circular intersection will be built at Purcell and Platteville boulevards.

County commissioners Monday approved a contract with HDR Inc., to begin designing. Construction could start later this year.

The roundabout idea originated from safety concerns.

Since 2010, there have been 21 accidents at that intersection, including two fatalities, and ongoing traffic missions, such as speed traps and saturation patrols, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.

After learning of the roundabout, Undersheriff JR Hall said: “We support anything that helps traffic move more safely.”

Commissioner Liane “Buffie” McFadyen said a roundabout is a safer alternative to a traffic light and easier to maintain.

“There continues to be a high rate of accidents at that location and they tend to be serious. In discussions with (Colorado Department of Transportation), a roundabout would be the right thing to do,” McFadyen said. “With a traffic light you have ongoing issues with the maintenance and traffic lights.”

The county obtained $400,000 in federal hazardous elimination safety funds for the project.

Greg Severance, the county’s grant writer who deals with traffic construction projects, said the roundabout shouldn’t exceed the grant, which required a 10 percent match of local funding.

Drivers will have to adapt to the new intersection, but a roundabout “will prevent someone from blowing through an intersection,” Severance said.

nickb@chieftain.com

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