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New Building Construction Won't Mean Changes to Mildred/Empire Intersection

Construction of the new Montezuma County combined courthouse and the Osprey Packs office building will bring infill to a long-vacant space in Cortez northwest of the corner of Mildred Avenue and Empire Street. But City Manager Shane Hale says it won’t necessarily mean changes to the four-way stop there.

Ground is set to be broken on both buildings this summer. The 33,000-square-foot court facility will house both district and county courts. The 26,000-square-foot Osprey building will be the company’s world headquarters. Osprey will have 76 employees to start at the location, with the hopes of adding more, but according to its site plan, 10 or 12 will bike to work year-round. Also, the company will utilize a daily shuttle service from Durango and from Dolores to cut down on individual vehicle trips. Hale says he doesn’t believe the courthouse will bring much additional traffic since the old Justice Building across the street will be vacated and those employees will move to the new courthouse. The city has done traffic counts and will continue to monitor the four-way stop, but Hale says he doesn’t believe traffic is anywhere close to the point where a revamp of the intersection would be required. However, he notes that one other development will be impacting the junction long-term: the expansion of Southwest Memorial Hospital, located further north on Mildred.  

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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