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Carbondale Home To Worst Bottleneck And Most Dangerous Intersection In Garfield County

Nov 19, 2019

The intersection at Catherine Store and highway 82 saw the most accidents in Garfield County from 2008-2017.
Credit Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Data on transportation in Garfield County that's a part of an update to the 2030 comprehensive plan gives Carbondale the dubious honor of hosting both the worst bottleneck and the intersection that's the site of the most accidents in the county. 

At the intersection of Carbondale’s highway 133 and southbound highway 82, traffic is, on average, backed up nearly a quarter mile for almost seven hours a day.

While some intersections in Garfield County see longer lines of traffic -- the westbound ramp of I-70 by Glenwood Springs can be backed up for three-and-a-half miles -- the bottlenecks don’t last as long. 

The intersection at Catherine Store and Highway 82 saw a county-high 39 crashes between 2008 and 2017. The majority of those were rear-end collisions. 

Data from the Colorado Department of Transportation also shows that many of Garfield County’s roads can accommodate more traffic that will come with a growing population. Highway 82 is another story; Garfield County’s portion is already over capacity.  

CDOT projects even higher levels of congestion for that stretch by 2040. Suggestions to improve delays include encouraging the use of RFTA’s bus system and increasing opportunities for people to live and work in the same community. 

Tuesday, the Garfield county board of commissioners will look at transportation issues, including safety, congestion and wear-and-tear on roads and bridges, as a part of the update to the comprehensive plan.