Responding to concerns from bicyclists and motorists, the county will use smaller-than-usual rocks when it chip-and-seals two sections of road this summer.
The Routt County Road and Bridge Department typically has used three-fourths-inch chips but is trying three-eighths-inch chips this year because of complaints from cyclists and others, said Tammie Crawford, Road and Bridge field coordinator.
Last fall, bicyclists, as well as some motorcyclists and drivers, complained the chips were so big that they made the road hard to bike on, posed safety hazards and could damage vehicles and windshields.
The roads to receive the three-eighths-inch chip-and-seal are 1.6 miles of Routt County Road 36, from the Steamboat Springs city limits to the Soda Creek bridge, and one mile of C.R. 36D, or Amethyst Drive.
The three-eighths-inch chip costs the same as the three-fourths-inch chip, but because it is smaller, it may not last as long, Crawford said. So it could be more expensive in the long run. Road and Bridge officials will monitor the road condition each year and make changes accordingly.
The chip-and-seal work should begin sometime after July 4, but a date has not been determined, Crawford said.
A 3.8-mile section of C.R. 27 also was slated to receive treatment with the three-eighths-inch chip. However, the road department is recommending that section be reconstructed instead.
That reconstruction would be funded with fees paid by Xcel Energy to haul coal on Twentymile Road from Twentymile Coal Mine to the Hayden Station. When that reconstruction will happen is up to Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper, who could not be reached Monday.
A half-mile section of C.R. 179 will receive three-fourths-inch chip-and-seal to provide extra support. The road was made with two layers of three-fourths-inch chip-seal over gravel, so three-eighths-inch chips could not be used, Crawford said.
The total cost to chip-and-seal all four portions of roads was about $177,000, which was the low bid and came from GMCO. Crawford said if the Routt County Board of Commissioners approves the chip-and-seal program today without the portion of C.R. 27, then she would find out whether the bid would change for the other three roads.
Road and Bridge workers also will begin overlays on four sections of road in the next few months.
Two sections of C.R. 129 will be overlayed with a two-inch layer of pavement. Those are 2.7 miles from Round Mountain to C.R. 64, and 2.9 miles from Big Creek to C.R. 54.
Overlays also will be done to 1.6 miles of C.R. 212 near the Stagecoach townhomes and a half-mile of C.R. 179 near Milner. The lowest bid for the overlays was $572,000.
Routt County commissioners will consider approval of the overlay and chip-and-seal projects at 9:35 a.m. today in the Commissioners Hearing Room in the Routt County Courthouse Annex.