Steamboat Springs The road construction that drivers are contending with now on Colorado 131 near County Road 18 is part of the Lake Catamount development project, and not the extensive repairs planned for the state highway that links Steamboat and south Routt.
Acceleration and deceleration lanes being constructed for Catamount Ranch and Club are almost finished.
"We're on schedule or early with everything so far," spokeswoman Jody Patten said. "The acceleration and deceleration lanes are almost done, and the crew should start revegetation along the roadside within the next couple of weeks."
By the time the extra lanes are finished, the Colorado Department of Transportation will be beginning its phased construction of Colo. 131. The first phase of the project, designed to bring the state highway up to safety standards, will focus on the stretch of Colo. 131 from its intersection with U.S. 40 to the bridge over the Yampa River.
Bringing the roads up to standard means, essentially, flattening the shoulders on both sides of the roads, resident engineer Glenn Violette said from Craig.
"We're going to get some shoulders on it, bring those up to standard, just make the road safer," he said.
CDOT will begin advertising for bids on the project July 20 and is hoping to begin construction in mid-September.
The project was originally planned for the summer months, but the amount of work CDOT has to do at this time pushed back the start date, County Commissioner Ben Beall said.
"They're also probably waiting for the irrigation ditches, which cross the road, to be all finished up, so there won't be any conflicts there," Beall added.
"We won't be able to finish the whole project this fall," Violette said.
Actually at this point, no one can tell how long the construction on Colo. 131 is going to take. The project is definitely a long-term one.
CDOT has allocated $4.8 million to improve the four-mile section of the state highway.
In the next three years, CDOT is scheduled to invest almost $8 million into improvements on Colo.131. Phased improvements are scheduled to continue through 2006, at a total cost to CDOT of $17 million.
Funding for widening Colo. 131 is included in a State Transportation Improvement Plan, which was passed by the Legislature this spring.
Widening of Colo. 131 has been an issue, especially for Oak Creek residents, for at least 10 years, Beall said.
"People who live off of 131, who've been talking about the traffic, are certainly encouraging the improvement. It's taken a while to get this to the top of the list," he said. "It had to work its way up from the bottom."
To reach Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4205 or e-mail email@example.com