U.S. 85/Duckwood Road Improvements
Owner: City of Fountain, Colo.
Lead Design Firm/Civil Engineer: Drexell Barrell & Co.
General Contractor: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.
Geotechnical Engineer: Vivid Engineering
Construction Manager: Wilson & Co., Engineers and Architects
Subcontractors: American Striping; C&D Electric; Dillie & Kuhn; K&S Concrete; T-P Enterprises
The need for this project was driven by concern in the growing city of Fountain about major safety issues from traffic accidents and the proximity of railroad tracks to turning vehicles. The city passed the Moving Fountain Forward Tax Initiative in 2009 to help fund the project. The work removed the outdated railroad crossing and added one mile of new roadway, originating in Fountain Creek Regional Park, then crossing the BNSF and Union Pacific rail lines and connecting to a new signalized intersection at Duckwood Road and U.S. 85.
The project also helped the city create a quiet zone by removing the requirement for trains to honk their horns at urban intersections. The two rail companies were originally scheduled to install the new track crossings before completion of the roadway connections, but various track emergencies and weather events across the country slowed railway progress in Fountain.
The project team resequenced work to keep the project moving forward by building out the original Duckwood roadway first. However, during conduit boring for the new traffic signal, crews discovered a previously unidentified underground fiber optic line. Poor soil conditions and high ground water also added to the challenges.
Portions of the project were redesigned, and many construction variances were approved so that work could continue. The design includes optimized pavement sections and flexibility for future improvements. The completed project also includes a high-tech interconnect from the railroad crossing to the new U.S. 85 traffic signal that shuts down traffic turns when a train approaches the crossing. Multimodal improvements in the Duckwood segment included bike lanes and pedestrian ramps.