Construction returns on 131

CDOT staff, area residents urge patience through summer

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A line of cars snakes through construction along Colorado Highway 131 near Steamboat Springs on Tuesday morning.

— Motorists traveling south from Steamboat Springs on Colorado Highway 131 may want to leave a few minutes early this summer.

Construction once again is under way on a 3.2-mile stretch of highway that begins near the Lake Catamount turnoff and continues to Routt County Road 14. Nancy Shanks of the Colorado Department of Transportation said the $5.6 million project should be completed by early August, which can't come soon enough for some area residents.

"Last year, traffic was a total zoo past here," said Maury Bunn, who lives off Routt County Road 14C, a few hundred yards away from the construction. "The road work has moved a little farther down the line, so people haven't been using our road as an alternate route as much," he said.

Throughout the duration of the project, motorists can expect single-lane, alternating traffic through the work zone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some weekend work possible.

Shanks said the scope of this month's work includes minor slope and shoulder maintenance as well as placement of an aggregate base course on Colo. 131 from Routt County Road 14E to the Yampa River bridge.

After the base course is placed, paving is scheduled to begin in early July. Seeding and mulching adjacent to the highway is to begin once asphalt paving has been completed.

Shanks noted CDOT doesn't typically designate alternate routes unless there is a road closure, but she stressed caution when traveling on county roads.

"If locals know about those alternate routes and choose to bypass the work, then do drive slowly and respect the residents on these unpaved roads," she said. "If you get stuck in line, it's only about a 10-minute delay. Leave a few minutes early."

The armada of vehicles past the Bunn residence may have subsided for now, but Bunn said he's worried motorists searching for detours around the construction will come back once the paving begins.

"It's only a 10-minute wait, and that shouldn't be much of a problem for most people," he said. "The (CDOT) people did a good job last year with traffic, and I just hope to God people can be patient."

Comments

fanofsteamboatsprings 7 years, 3 months ago

Part of the problem continues to be over-management of the entire construction zone. Currently the construction is focused on just 0.8 miles of road yet there is 4.2 miles of road needlessly being restricted as "the" construction zone. Perhaps 4.2 mles will eventually have something done to it but why make people slow and crawl through an area where there is absolutely nothing going on. I am aware that the state requires a margin of sorts before and after a construction zone but not a 3.6 mile buffer.

In part it is laziness and economics by the construction company. They only have to set out their signs one time in one place instead of shifting them as needed. Even though this would be a huge benefit to the public that does not seem to be a priority.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 3 months ago

muskno.... wake up.... the only thing we get from Utah is office furniture.

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dave reynolds 7 years, 3 months ago

wonder if that wasn't the same guy who passed me like a Bat Outta H..l right before dbl fine zone heading South..got his plate s65.mmt TEXAS..didn't call it in though..doesn't seem to do any good..waits haven't been bad though

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