Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the questions most frequently asked of City staff regarding this project. If you do not find the answer to your question below, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Why has the project been delayed?

Several factors have affected the timeline of Confluence Drive, and even though construction of the road has not started, much progress has been made. The City has negotiated through several property and right-of-way acquisitions, with only one property to date having to be condemned. Project plans have been reviewed and refined, leading to improved design, usability, and cost savings. City crews have been clearing the route and will continue to make preparations so that when the time comes that the contractor is ready to begin, as much of the preliminary work will be done as possible.

What is left to do before construction can start?

The City is working to wrap up negotiations and coordination efforts with various agencies including:

  • Union Pacific Railroad - property exchange agreement to relocate the Montrose Subdivision tracks west of the current alignment; Construction and Maintenance Agreements for the overpass crossing of the North Fork Subdivision and the signalized crossing of the Montrose Subdivision on Highway 348
  • Army Corps of Engineers - Coordination and permitting process to mitigate impacts to less than 1.5 acres of wetlands affected by the project
  • CDOT - Coordination and approval of Access Permits, right of way plans and improvements to US 50
  • Property Acquisition - Finalize negotiations with property owners to secure the needed right of way, complete condemnation process with one property

What is the estimated start date?

Currently we anticipate that construction will begin in the fall of 2012.

What changes have been made since the original design?

  • Better Downtown and Recreation Center Access: The Palmer Street crossing will now be a signalized intersection rather than an overpass. This not only saves on construction costs, but will allow for better traffic flow between the Confluence Park area and the adjacent businesses.
  • Storm Water Mitigation: A water quality pond will be added to Confluence Park to accept runoff from Confluence Drive, 5th and 2nd Streets, ensuring sediment and debris do not flow directly into the lake and river as well as beginning to proactively address stormwater quality regulations that will eventually impact the City and its residents.
  • River Access: A 12 acre parcel of land was obtained along the route that could possibly be used for future public access to the Uncompahgre River.
  • Wetland Relocation: A plan has been submitted to the Corps of Engineers that would relocate wetlands displaced by construction to Confluence Park in an area that has become overgrown and in need of restoration.
  • Improved RR Crossing: The crossing at 348 will be upgraded with new concrete pads and signals.

What has been completed along the route to date?

City crews have demolished 11 structures, as well as removing trees, miscellaneous debris along the Confluence Drive corridor, and clearing several ditches. Over the coming months the cannery, the buildings at the former Agricultural Services location, and several other buildings along the route will be removed. Other upcoming projects include utility relocation work and wetlands construction. View in progress photos.

What have been the biggest challenges to the project to date?

Property and right-of-way negotiations are always one of the biggest challenges on a project of this scope. The city is very proud that almost all of the negotiations have been successful, and that only one property to date had to be condemned. Funding also continues to be a challenge. The City has been committed to a value engineering process that reduces costs without compromising the success of the project. Other challenges relate to working with the multiple agencies involved in a project of this scope, and meeting their individual requirements related to the project.

What agencies have to be consulted as part of the project?

Colorado Department of Transportation, Army Corps of Engineers, Colorado State Historical Preservation Office, Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Union Pacific Railroad

What sources of funding are being used to pay for the project?

Project funding comes primarily through bonds issued by the City after voters approved the bond issue in November 2009. The sources are listed below:

  • Bond funding of $22.9 million (30 year bonds paid back using the 1% tax dedicated to City-Wide Capital Improvements)
  • Energy and Mineral Impact Grant through the Department of Local Affairs for $2.8 million
  • Delta County $100,000 and other in-kind contributions
  • Union Pacific Railroad $150,000 towards construction of the overpass on the North Fork Subdivision

Does the proposed route have expansion capability and a plan for the future?

One of the major goals for this project is to get the large trucks away from Main Street while keeping the rest of the traffic traveling though town. The current Main Street district allows for on-street parking and we want our citizens to feel safe parking on Main without the fear of being "run down" by large trucks. Once you get past the Central Business District (roughly 12th street) parking is off-street in designated parking lots. According to our current development regulations, all developments are required to provide adequate off-street parking and parking lots to accommodate patrons. Therefore, the need to get the large trucks away from parked cars and pedestrians changes as you get away from the downtown district.

Why not use G and G-50 roads for a "true by-pass" of downtown?

We have heard time and time again from many business owners that they do not want to "by-pass" downtown. We are not and do not want to do what was done in Olathe with a true "by-pass" around downtown. This suggestion takes all of the traffic away from the business district and this is not what we are trying to accomplish. Our goal has and will always be to get the large trucks away from downtown while still capturing our pass by tourist traffic into the downtown.

Will the proposed route "bottleneck" traffic at McDonalds?

We anticipate the majority of the traffic through Delta will continue through Delta simply because one will have to make a conscious decision to travel the alternate route. A traveler will need to get into a right turn lane and make a right turn to get onto the route (if headed south) and get into a left turn lane to turn left (if headed north). Most people will continue to "stay the course" and head right into downtown without considering the alternate route. Therefore, traffic will continue to flow primarily as it is now with the exception of the large trucks taking the route.

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