Bayfield town trustees agreed Tuesday evening to proceed with phase 2 of a highway corridor study in partnership with La Plata County and Colorado Department of Transportation.
Phase 2 is an Access Management Plan, a formal document that will dictate where public accesses can be on Highway 160. The study area goes from the west end of Gem Village to the east edge of Bayfield.
Phase 1, referred to as a traffic feasibility study, focussed on the west end of Bayfield Parkway intersection with 160. It was completed earlier this year with a preferred alternative on how to re-configure that intersection, as reported in the Times on Feb. 21.
In his staff report, Town Manager Chris La May said the purpose of the Access Management Plan "will be to guide future access from US 160 to developments while providing for improved mobility and safety, identify major intersections, identify future traffic signal locations, identify future potential relocations of access to US 160, and confirm or modify existing access as proposed in the traffic feasibility study."
The Commerce Drive access will be included in this review.
The scope of work will include traffic counts at 10 places within seven miles of Bayfield, a meeting with CDOT and local agencies to determine future potential access points, and conduct a 20-year analysis of traffic growth related to proposed future accesses.
Public meetings will be part of the process.
Trustees had the option to not continue with this and stop with phase 1.
"If we want to play and take control of our town, we have no option but to continue," Mayor Rick Smith said. He wants the town to have a say in this.
Trustee Rachel Davenport agreed. "I think we'd be doing a disservice to the citizens and the town if we don't participate - keep our foot in the pool," she said.
Other trustees agreed to continue.
In other action, trustees considered a request from Bayfield Christian Church on County Road 509 for water service, either from the town or the La Plata/ Archuleta Water District (LAPLAWD).
The church is a short distance south of Bayfield Parkway, outside town limits but inside the town's designated service area. The LAPLAWD water main goes past the church property.
Trustees agreed LAPLAWD should provide service as long as the church signs an agreement that they will annex into the town if and when that becomes feasible.