County moves forward with fairgrounds entrance
Mesa County will soon embark on the creation of a new signalized entrance to the county fairgrounds in an effort to enhance safety on U.S. Highway 50 and accommodate increased traffic and future growth at the fairgrounds.
The county is soliciting proposals from firms to design the new intersection and entrance at 27 3/4 Road, which is just west of the current entrance.
The new entrance will align with the Orchard Mesa Lions Club Park on the south and the primary entrance and exit for City Market on the north. It will replace the fairgrounds’ current primary entrance, which will become a three-quarters movement intersection. That means left turns out of the fairgrounds onto westbound U.S. 50 will be prohibited.
The county, the city of Grand Junction and the Colorado Department of Transportation have been working on an access control plan for U.S. 50. At the same time, the county has been developing a master plan for the fairgrounds that spells out development over the next 20 years.
“With the current and expected future traffic in that area, in combination with the expectation that the (fairgrounds) master plan will likely expect to see increased usage in the future, that combination of factors is what’s making the intersection improvements necessary at this time,” county spokeswoman Jessica Peterson said.
Project design should begin in February, with construction completed sometime later in the year, according to Jim Nall, county traffic and safety engineer. The cost of the project is preliminarily estimated at $750,000, and the county and city are expected to join together to pick up the tab.