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Driving You Crazy: The "miracle mile" on Timberline will be a miracle if Ft. Collins ever finishes it

Construction going on two years and counting
Timberline Road
Posted at 5:01 AM, Jul 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-18 13:25:48-04

This question came into my Twitter feed from Major in Fort Collins. Major writes, “What’s driving you crazy? So, what's driving me crazy @Denver7Traffic? The "miracle mile" on S. Timberline because it'll be a miracle if Fort Collins ever finishes it! Two years and counting.” 

Someone once said, “Out of difficulties grow miracles,” and your miracle Major is on the way for all the difficulty you have endured navigating that project. As you know, Timberline Road is a major thoroughfare through Fort Collins and is more crowded than ever with the rapid growth the city has seen over the past few years. The city of Fort Collins listed this project as a priority in their master plan. They say in the planning documents that the work will reduce congestion, improve safety and enhance bike and pedestrian connections along the corridor. The price to pay for a better and safer road comes at the expense of suffering through all of the many phases of the work.

Driving You Crazy: It's the "miracle mile" on Timberline because it'll be a miracle if Fort Collins ever finishes it!

“We definitely understand frustration with road construction, especially with large, multi-faceted projects like the Timberline Road Widening Project,” Mark Laken, capital projects engineer with the City of Fort Collins, said. Mark told me there is light at the end of the tunnel as they expect construction to wrap up next month.

“It is accurate to say that the multiple projects on this corridor did take close to two years to complete. The city built two bridges between December 2021and July 2022. Then there was a five-month gap when no work occurred, and then the city began the Timberline corridor widening in December 2022, which will continue through August of 2023.”

The city told me it was a combination of the harsh winter weather, spring rain and the economy that created several hurdles for the project team resulting in lost schedule time.

“The city had intended to complete both projects in 12-18 months by having both project schedules overlap by several months. Unfortunately, due to unanticipated inflation in late 2021, the city had to adjust funding which caused a 5-month delay to the corridor construction contract”, Laken said.

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The wet spring hasn’t allowed the team catch up even though the construction activities noticeably ramped up. The original construction schedule would have had this project done by now in early July. However, due to the lost time due to weather, the contract time was extended, and the work pushed back to a completion date of August.

According to the Timberline project website, South Timberline Road was reconstructed in separate ways. Between Stetson Creek Drive and Zephyr Road, it was widened to the City’s four lane arterial roadway standards. Between Zephyr Road and Trilby Road, Timberline was restriped to include two northbound lanes and one southbound lane. There are also planned improvements to the intersection Kechter Road and Zephyr Road including multi-modal accommodations, raised medians, center turn lanes, access control, landscaping improvements and roadway improvements. The project started first underground with the construction of a pedestrian underpass beneath Timberline Road to accommodate the future Mail Creek Trail.

Laken said the last part of the project will include the asphalt maintenance team to mill and repave South Timberline Road from Trilby to Harmony Road concurrently with the widening project during the last stages of construction in August.

“We’re looking forward to seeing this project completed and ultimately, it will result in a safer, more efficient road for all forms of travel.”

Funding was provided from the Fort Collins Transportation Expansion Capital Fee fund, developer contributions and federal funds.

Denver7 Traffic Expert Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on any odcast app including iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Podbean.