Routt County The road construction season has begun and Routt County has three major projects on its plate for the summer.
"This is the only time we work on roads. If we don't do it now, we have to wait another year," Routt County Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper said.
Recently, Routt County received a $600,000 Energy Impact Assistance grant to begin phase two of a reconstruction project on County Road 27.
"Our goal is to upgrade that road to Highway 40," County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.
Phase two is estimated to cost $1.2 million and will encompass three miles of the road. Routt County will provide $200,000 for to project and Twentymile Coal Co. will make up the difference.
The coal company has a special use permit to use part of C.R. 27 because of its truck traffic on the road. As part of an agreement with Routt County, Twentymile will pay $1.7 million toward maintenance on the road.
When phase two is finished, the Road and Bridge Department will be tapped out of funds for the project, Draper said.
"We're going to have to figure it out," he said.
County officials will have to apply for more grants to complete the project, he said.
Managing the 900 miles of roads in the county is a big job that costs more money than the Road and Bridge Department usually has, Draper said.
"Our infrastructure needs are greater than our revenues," Draper said.
County officials haven't taken bids for C.R. 27 yet, but they are optimistic that the three-mile stretch of upgrades will be finished before the summer is over.
"We're hoping about July," County Commissioner Dan Ellison said.
On Thursday, Draper received bids for two other summer projects that will be awarded this week. Construction will start soon on both and continue through the summer.
The lowest bid to fix a slide-prone area of C.R. 76, the Cog, was $176,994 from Coggins and Sons.
The county wants to "stabilize the the road, not the slide," Draper said.
Three sections of the county road are being damaged by erosion from a creeping landslide near the C.R. 78A intersection.
To support the road, the county wants to build concrete columns into the bedrock below the road.
"It will keep the road from moving," Draper said.
A guard rail also is to be placed on the side of the road, near the concrete columns.
A new local company, Excavation Specialist Inc., had the lowest bid for the third summer project, Elkhead Bridge, at $279,025.
The project replaces a bridge crossing Elkhead Creek on C.R. 76 near C.R. 29Z.
The bridge being used now was given to the Road and Bridge Department by the Wyoming Department of Transportation in the late '80s.
"It was an old bridge when we put it up," Draper said.
Only one car at a time can go over the bridge right now because of weight restrictions, he said. The new bridge will support two cars.
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