County to widen K Road for Fruita-GJ traffic

More and more cars and trucks are shuttling between Fruita and Grand Junction via K Road these days, and Mesa County is pursuing another road widening project intended to make that stretch of road a little safer for users.

County commissioners this week approved a contract worth more than $765,000 with M.A. Concrete Construction, who offered the lowest of seven qualified bids on a widening project between 19 and 19 1/2 roads.

The project means K Road, which is what Fruita’s Ottley Avenue turns into just west of town, will get new 4-foot-wide paved shoulders on both sides of the current narrow two-lane road and widened gravel shoulders on that particular stretch that runs about 2,800 feet.

The county hopes to improve sight distance and allow for an improved vehicle clearing zone and recovery area with the new construction.

That should ease increasing traffic pressure along the route, which drivers are using more and more as an east-west alternative to U.S. Highway 6&50.

There’s also been an increasing mix of traffic along K Road, including bicycles and farm equipment.

For the county, this is just the latest in a series of efforts to improve the K Road corridor. Projects in 2010 included a bridge replacement and improvements around 20 Road.

The county last year added a third lane to K Road between 18 1/2 and 19 roads, which is one of the busiest sections of the road.

It also widened the road at Hunter Wash between 21 and 21 1/2 roads. Beyond the current project, the county expects to replace another bridge and perform more improvements between 19 1/2 and 20 roads.

Other sight distance improvements are planned for K Road closer to 22 1/2 and 23 roads, and contracts for those projects are expected in 2013.

Work on the current project will get under way soon, and people can expect road closures and detours in the area.

The county says the intersection at 19 Road will remain open, but through-traffic could be detoured for a few months. The project should be completed by mid-June.


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