City gearing up for summer paving projects

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— The unseasonably mild and dry May weather in Steamboat Springs translates into favorable weather for road work. The summer's list of paving projects in the city could be complete by the middle of June, according to street superintendent Doug Marsh.

Connell Resources was the successful bidder on the project. Marsh said the company indicated it would like to complete the work by Memorial Day, but he thinks mid-June is a realistic target date.

The total cost of the paving projects is $275,000, according to Public Works Director Jim Weber.

In addition to asphalt overlay, a portion of Thirteenth Street 1,300 feet in length will be widened by several feet. That aspect of the project is intended to improve conditions for pedestrians between Evans and Gilpin streets on the northern boundary of the Fairview neighborhood. The widening represents just the first phase of Thirteenth Street improvements. Ultimately, residents of the neighborhood have asked for widening to be extended further toward the Yampa River and the railroad tracks.

If that were accomplished, families in Fairview say they would find it safer and more convenient to walk to nearby public facilities like the Depot, Bud Werner Memorial Library, the Community Center and the Yampa River Core Trail.

Making changes to the railroad crossing is a more complicated and potentially expensive proposition, according to Weber. He said his department anticipates making contact with the railroad to discuss the options.

The Colorado Department of Transportation also has a major overlay project planned in the Steamboat area this summer. Approximately 9 miles of U.S. 40 on the west side of Rabbit Ears Pass will get a new asphalt surface. The work will begin this month and continue into July, said CDOT's Glenn Violette.

Violette is the resident engineer in CDOT's Craig office. He said the first month of the project will be devoted to repair highway damage attributable to frost heave.

Violette said crews will begin mobilizing for the project next week and undertake actual work the following week.

The section of highway to be overlayed begins near the bottom of the pass on the Steamboat side and extends a mile beyond the west summit. Much of the highway in question includes three lanes of traffic in each direction. Violette said crews will attempt to keep two lanes open in each direction as much as possible.

One state highway project that won't be completed this summer is the planned widening of 3.5 miles of Colo. 131 beginning near the intersection of U.s. 40.

Violette said that project is ultimately planned to widen the highway to include shoulders all the way to Oak Creek. He said his office tentatively plans to advertise for bids for the first 3.5 miles of the highway widening on July 13. Limited work could begin this summer, but the actual widening would not begin until 2001. Crews could begin drainage and utility work this summer and continue working into September in order to be ready for major construction next summer, he said.


To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210 or e-mail tomross@amigo.net

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