18th May, 2012

Highway 9 Safety through Summit County Real Estate

Driving through Summit County real estate on Highway 9 requires a watchful eye.  Mountain wildlife is plentiful in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Highway 9 passes by Silverthorne CO homes, Frisco Colorado real estate, and south to homes in Breckenridge and Blue River, so we have lots of opportunities to spot families of deer and elk.  Too often,they scamper out in front of vehicles.

During a public meeting on April 19, 2012, the Colorado Department of Transportation unveiled a design to improve the safety on Highway 9.  The story ran in the Summit Daily News (04/23/2012).  Beginning north of homes in Silverthorne area and spanning the borders of Grand and Summit counties, the preliminary plan adds wildlife crossings between mileposts 126 and 137.

Last year, the Blue Valley Ranch, owned by hedge-fund manager Paul T. Jones II of Connecticut, donated over $800,000 to solve the problem of wildlife causing accidents.  The Summit Daily article by Tonya Bina explains from 2007 to 2011,there have been 47 accidents involving wild animals on Highway 9 between Heeney Road and the Colorado River Bridge Crossing.

The most noticeable changes called for in the plan’s design are seven wildlife crossings: two overpasses and five underpasses.  The overpasses would be the first ones in the State of Colorado.Overpasses allow wildlife to travel on a landscaped crossing, bounded by camouflaged fencing.  A visual barrier would minimize the effect of traffic lights and sounds upon the wildlife.Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah use wildlife crossings.

In addition to wildlife crossings, other improvements include installing wildlife fencing along the right of ways and horizontal and vertical alignments that meet the design speed of 65 mph.  The roadway would be widened to include eight-foot shoulders, as much of the highway in Grand County lacks shoulder. Guardrails, signs, stripes, and vehicle recovery areas would be added to the roadway along with new drainage structures.

The funds from Blue Valley Ranch allowed the Colorado Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to improve the safety on Highway 9.  Often, when a community creates a plan then federal, state, and county monies become available to help fund the plan.The completed project will cost $35-$40 million to construct.

Come on up to see Summit County Colorado real estate for sale to fit your budget and dreams.  For information about buying real estate in our mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

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