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Gold Hill Mesa widening over a half-mile of South 21st Street

Heavy equipment has been busy widening South 21st Street between Lower Gold Camp and Gold Hill Mesa Drive. The wood-marked segment at far left will be a sidewalk. Paralleling that is curb and gutter that have already been poured. The view looks south (uphill) on South 21st Street from Gold Hill Mesa Drive.
Westside Pioneer photo
Over a decade ago, before Gold Hill Mesa had even built a house, city traffic planners were talking about the eventual need for two lanes each way on South 21st Street past the 210-acre subdivision.
       As part of that, the city told the developers they would have to widen the eastern half of the road - the side adjoining its project area - at some point when the development grew big enough to justify it.
       Gold Hill got a jump on that requirement five years ago, hauling in about 20,000 cubic yards of dirt and compacting it to create up to 40 additional feet of right of way on the street's east side.
       This spring, with about 300 homes now built and homebuilding especially strong near 21st Street, contractors for Gold Hill Mesa are completing the widening job,
Another view of the widening work along South 21st Street - this one taken looking north, between Lower Gold Camp Road and Eclipse Drive (a Gold Hill Mesa street that's not yet open to traffic).
Westside Pioneer photo
putting in concrete and pavement. “It's exciting to see the curbs and sidewalks going in,” said Barry Brinton, the subdivision's land manager, in early May.
       He estimated that the paving from Lower Gold Camp Road north (downhill) to Gold Hill Mesa Drive will be complete by the end of June - a distance of over half a mile.
       A second concrete/pavement phase will occur later in the summer, along a 300-foot stretch north from Gold Hill Mesa Drive, he said. That work will include tapering the widened section into the existing two-lane segment between there and about Broadway Street. From Broadway to Highway 24, 21st is already four lanes.
       Gold Hill Mesa plans to widen that two-lane segment once its commercially zoned area (east of 21st and south of Highway 24) begins to develop, Brinton said.
       For the new pavement expanse, it is not yet known how 21st will be restriped - whether any new through lanes will actually result at this time. Part of the uncertainty is that the city wants to make improvements on the west side of the street, where there are currently no sidewalk or bike lanes. But plans for that have yet to be developed.
       “Staff will be looking at that [the restriping],” said Kathleen Krager, city transportation manager. As for the west side of the street, she said there is no schedule yet; “it will depend on funding availability.”
       One goal for Gold Hill Mesa in the widening is to create an acceleration/deceleration lane north of Lower Gold Camp Road to ease access to and from the development's Eclipse Drive and Gold Hill Mesa Drive, Brinton said.
       He emphasized that the development team has been happy with the cooperation from the city to date - staff even helped arrange an escrow plan that has allowed Gold Hill (during an era of tight lending) to incrementally escrow money for the widening work over a period of time.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 5/9/16; Transportation: Major Roads)

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