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Troubled 32nd Street gets detention, rehabilitation

Work continued last week on a stormwater project along 32nd Street. Getting ready for the coning flood, you know. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Dear Action Line: Hello. Appreciate your column very much. There are two projects on 32nd Street east of Main Avenue. First seems to be drainage work just before Holly Avenue on the south side. Lots of heavy equipment, men in hard hats, concrete conduit. What’s up? Also, surveyors are out on the north side of 32nd from County Road 250 past Holly. Is widening on the horizon? I know it’s town on one side, county on the other. Thanks. – Andrew

Dear Andrew: Well, let’s take this occasion to say the feeling is mutual. Action Line appreciates readers such as yourself, and the insightful and often witty questions that are offered. Action Line also hopes that no one takes the constant snarkiness and self-aggrandizement that appears in this column too seriously. As knower of everything around here, and wise beyond years (which seem to be stacking up quickly), Action Line is nothing if not gracious and humble.

In this case, Andrew, you’ve basically answered both questions. But Action Line will pretend that you didn’t and answer them again with just a few more details to make people (hopefully) feel as if they’re not wasting time.

For the official word, we turn once again to Allison Baker, the city of Durango’s Public Works director. The activity just west of Holly, where lots of dirt is being shoved around, is technically the “32nd Street Storm Sewer Detention Pond” project, she said. This stormwater project is partially funded by a state (Department of Local Affairs) grant and was designed through the city’s Engineering Division.

“It’s collecting from quite a large area and will create a stilling location for extreme rain events, allowing sediment to drop out of the water before outlet piping continues to carry it on to the (Animas) river,” Baker said.

Action Line hopes there’s still room for the deer that have historically hung out in the area, realizing that the speed limit is only 25 mph along this stretch. Deer in the know understand they are safer here than, say, along Florida Road. Because no one ever goes over 25 mph along 32nd Street. That’s the law.

Speaking of safety, once the widening job is done on 32nd between Holly and County Road 250, it might not be quite so hair-raising to walk, run or bike along that currently narrow stretch with crumbling shoulders. But deer might be confused, because the finished product is supposed to look a lot like Florida Road, with a landscaped median, one lane on either side, bike lanes, and a sidewalk on one side. There’ll be turn lanes, street lights – you won’t even recognize it.

This widening project is a joint effort between the city of Durango and the county of La Plata, paid for in part by a joint sales tax fund. The road here is technically County Road 251. The intersection of County Road 251 with County Road 250 will be rebuilt and prepared for a future traffic signal.

Durango’s Multimodal Division is involved in designing this road rebuild.

Construction to improve County Road 251 between Holly Avenue and County Road 250, and the section of County Road 250 between Metz Lane and Florida Road is scheduled to begin this week or next week.

More information

For more information about the 32nd Street/County Road 251 improvements, referred to officially as the “CR 250 & 251 Improvement Project,” visit www.durangoco.gov/1391/CR-250-251.

While we’re on the subject of web links, if you were hoping to “engage” with the MidTown Safety and Connectivity Project, known more colloquially as the Dysfunction Junction project, try this: engage.durangoco.gov/midtown-safety-and-connectivity.

Action Line offered a slightly different link in a story a couple of columns ago. The city recently revamped its Connect and Engage website and it is now the Engage Durango site, said Klancy Nixon, community engagement specialist with the city.

The new site “also makes it easier for folks to ‘follow’ a project,” Nixon said, “and most of our projects ask for feedback directly within the page.”

Email questions and suggestions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Thanks to Tom Stritikus for six good years at Fort Lewis College. Not sure why you want to go to LA, but in any case, you will be missed.

An earlier version of this column gave an incorrect start date for construction on the “County Road 250 & 251 Improvement Project.

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