Expect delays: Rabbit Ears repairs start today

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— Improvements to nine miles of U.S. 40 on Rabbit Ears Pass are scheduled to start today.

The Colorado Department of Transportation plans to work on the west summit of the pass between mile posts 139 and 148 to resurface pavement, repair guardrails and paint stripes. Workers will also repair 10 frost heave areas where Routt County's harsh winters have caused the pavement to freeze and thaw, creating buckles.

In the nine miles of three-lane highway to be worked on, traffic will flow in both directions with minimal delays. In three miles of two-lane highway, a flagger will alternate one-way traffic. Motorists can expect delays in those areas of up to 15 minutes Monday through Friday.

Due to the amount of truck traffic and construction personnel working on the project, CDOT engineer Glenn Violette asked drivers to proceed cautiously through the construction zones.

"This is a popular area. To ensure the safety of our motorists and construction workers, we're asking everyone to please cooperate by carefully obeying all signs, speed limits and flaggers," he said.

Violette said the improvements are badly needed.

"Drivers on Rabbit Ears Pass will notice a significant improvement in the highway areas," he added.

Connell Resources of Steamboat Springs was awarded the $1.9 million project contract. The road improvements should be finished by late July.

To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail mbales@amigo.net

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