Highway 50 corridor plan promises better access, business owners opposed

Posted at 7:23 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 21:23:58-04

Canon City and CDOT are proposing lane expansions on Highway 50 meaning Fremont drive would disappear.
But are they improvements or another problem?

It’s all to give drivers easy access to businesses and improve traffic circulation.

"Some movements will be restricted but it gives opportunities for travelers along US 50 to directly access the business rather than trying to weave through circulation of the frontage road," said Michelle Hansen, a transportation engineering consultant working on the project.

But business owners along Fremont Drive told News 5 they don’t want it.

Paul Kessler owns the Bargain Barn and he helped draft a petition to oppose the plan.

He’s concerned the busy highway will threaten his regular customer base.

"They come time after time after time and we want to keep them coming," Kessler said.

"We want to do everything we can do to keep them coming."
The expansion would cover more than six miles and incorporate right-in and right-out lanes so drivers could get off and on the highway safely.

Below is a detailed map view of the plan:

But Kessler worries safety won’t be improved.
"Off of the side road streets without stop lights, they’re going to pull out, I can just picture it, pulling onto Highway 50 and getting crammed," he said.

Part of the corridor plan also includes a raised median dividing eastbound and westbound lanes on Highway 50.
It’s still in the early planning phase, meaning more time for businesses to share their ideas, too.

Hansen added Canon City and CDOT will be continuing open forum meetings through the summer for the community to voice their thoughts.
Right now, funding has not been secured.