Slow driving to see the falls

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Traffic on upper Fish Creek Falls Road could return to normal in time for the busy July Fourth weekend.

County Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper said paving on a 1,400-foot section of County Road 32, which leads to heavily visited Fish Creek Falls, is scheduled to begin June 30, weather permitting.

The road has been torn up for utility construction since early this month. Difficulties encountered in the utility construction have restricted vehicular traffic to 15 minute intervals on the hour during business hours on weekdays.

Crews from Native Excavating have been installing water and sewer lines for the new Elkins Meadow Subdivision. Less than desirable soils have necessitated hauling material out of the site. Dump trucks return with appropriate fill, Draper said. If the weather is good, the paving project shouldn't take more than a couple of days, Draper added.

In an unrelated matter, bridge repairs where County Road 129 crosses Mad Creek about seven miles northwest of Steamboat Springs, won't begin until late August or early September, Draper said. That will place disruptions in traffic beyond the heavy season at Steamboat Lake State Park, further up the road.

The bridge is not in danger of collapse, but one of seven concrete encased box girders that support the bridge is damaged to the extent that it represents a potential safety hazard, Draper said. The road sees an average of 2,200 daily vehicle trips. It is currently weight restricted for operators of heavy trucks.

Draper said this week the design team is close to advertising bids for the bridge project. Girder fabrication will take another six weeks. The construction phase will last six weeks or more. Draper anticipates using a system of automated stop and go lights on a timing system to alternate between north and southbound traffic across a single lane on the bridge.


-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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