Steamboat Springs Residents of Whistler Road face 11 weeks of construction and detours beginning Monday, when Native Excavating begins replacement of a water main on behalf of Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District.
Construction activity will take place six days a week in the neighborhood on Steamboat's south side. Daily work begins at 7 a.m. and continues until 7 p.m.
"This is a complex project with 10 water main reconnections and six fire hydrant replacements," water district Manager Jay Gallagher said. "Our contractor will expend a major effort to mitigate the impact of construction on area residents with an emphasis on traffic control and dust control."
The $1 million project will replace 2,400 feet of water main. Residents will have access to their homes during construction hours, but through traffic will not be allowed along Whistler between Walton Creek Road and Stone Lane.
Gallagher said the water main was installed about 1977 and is due for replacement. The district will take the opportunity to upsize from an 8-inch pipe to a 12-inch pipe.
The larger water main will provide better service in terms of water availability for fire suppression and redundancy in high-density housing developments on Whistler Road, Gallagher said.
"When you increase the line by 4 inches, that's a large volume of water, and you have a large reserve in the line," Gallagher said.
City of Steamboat Springs Public Works Director Philo Shelton said he's confident the district and its contractor have a good plan for managing traffic disruptions.
Residents of streets such as Meadow Lane, Timothy Drive and Brome Drive who are accustomed to commuting via Whistler Road have an alternate access off Walton Creek Road at Village Drive. The same is true for members of the public using Whistler Park.
Residents on the west side of Whistler have an alternative access via Chinook Lane. Residents on the east side of Whistler will be the most impacted.
"Native Excavating has a pretty good phasing plan with construction detours," Gallagher said. "They'll move in sections from north to south. Is it going to be a headache? Sure, but that's the nature of construction detours."
There will be times when water service is disrupted, Gallagher said. Crews will notify residents 24 hours in advance with hang tags on their doors.
Gallagher said the district does not need to upgrade the diameter of water lines elsewhere in the neighborhood. Four-inch lines are sufficient in the neighborhoods, he said.
The Whistler water main replacement represents just a portion of $3 million in construction projects being undertaken by the district. Others include two new storage tanks, a pump station and a pressure-reducing valve on Ridge Road.
Gallagher said the plan of work for this summer also involves the realignment of some sewer mains on Walton Creek Road to eliminate a flat spot.
Anyone with questions can call the district at 879-2424.
- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205
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