"Palisade Hill" Set to Undergo Safety Overhaul
KREX News Room
PALISADE, Colo. - Mesa County officials say it's time for a popular Palisade roadway to get a safety revamp.
A certain section of 38 Road, starting near the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District and continuing up until Sobre El Rio Court, better known as "Palisade Hill" sees about 2,600 cars and trucks a day.
"Right now it's fairly steep and [has] tight curves, very little super elevation," said Bill Taylor, staff engineer with Mesa County Public Works.
Taylor says the hill has been unsafe for cars and pedestrians for many years.
"What used to be a small farm to market road is now getting a lot of pressure from the agricultural community and the cycling community," he said.
With no shoulders, a steep grade and sharp curves, Palisade Hill can be dangerous for drivers and bikers alike.
"Just the visibility of seeing whose coming up is going to be very helpful," said Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms.
His orchard is right at the top of the hill and he's seen his fair share of accidents due tot he current state of the road.
"The combination of bicycles and regular traffic on a very narrow hill, it's a big safety problem," said Talbott.
He like several others in the area would like to see a safer way to get to and from downtown.
Project officials plan to create safer curves, widen lanes, provide shoulders and make it so bikes and cars don't have to share the same space.
"We'll have a 10 foot wide detached trail on the West side that will allow slower vehicles, slower cyclists and pedestrians to get over on that detached trail all the way up the hill," said Taylor.
The plan also calls for a barrier to be built on the East side to stop frequent rock falls from spilling onto the road.
The project is estimated to cost $1.8 million and officials anticipate the have full funding and will start construction in the Fall of 2014.