City to look at Ridge Road

Property owners seeking help with improvements

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— Property owners along Ridge Road are seeking the city of Steamboat Springs' help in upgrading the steep, winding road off of Burgess Creek Road near the ski area.

The City Council will take up the matter at its meeting today.

Ridge Road property owners have complained about the condition of the road and petitioned the city for improvements. The city estimates it will take $1.3 million to make the improvements.

In a memo to the City Council, Paul Hughes states that most of Ridge Road is not city-owned and has never been a Routt County road. Hughes recommends that the city reiterate its position to accept the upper portion of the road when all necessary improvements are completed.

He also advises the council to agree that the city has accepted the lower portion of the road and to direct city staff to maintain this section of the road as it would any other city road.

Finally, Hughes suggested that city staff work with property owners to create a special improvement district to complete the road improvements the city says the developer should have made years ago.

The city claims that, in 1978, it refused to plow the road because the developer, Sunray Land Corporation, failed to improve the road to the city's standards or to request acceptance. In 1979, the city accepted the lower portion of Ridge Road, which runs from Burgess Creek Road to the first house. In October of 1981, the city agreed to accept upper Ridge Road once Sunray reconstructed it to the city's standards.

In 1982, the public works department reported that improvements had been made, but a number of items had not been completed to city standards. Almost two years later, the city sent a letter to Sunray President Don Valentine stating Ridge Road had not been completed or accepted.

Public Works Director Jim Weber estimated the $1.3 million cost for the Ridge Road improvements. The largest expense is $400,000 in utility relocation. The cost of paving, intersection improvements, design and surveying and the 15 percent contingency cost between $100,000 and $200,000 each.

Neither Hughes nor Weber could be reached for comment.

At tonight's meeting, Hughes will show photographs of the road, city staff attorney Dan Foote will explain the chronology of the Ridge Road problem, Weber will give his estimates for the cost of bringing the road up to city standards, and City Attorney Tony Lettunich will give his opinion about the legal status of the road and any obligations to the city.

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