A coal-hauling truck heads to Twenty-Mile Coal Company from its unloading point at the Hayden Power Station in December 2006. The town of Hayden has reached an agreement that will connect Routt County Road 37 to U.S. Highway 40 later this year.

File photo

A coal-hauling truck heads to Twenty-Mile Coal Company from its unloading point at the Hayden Power Station in December 2006. The town of Hayden has reached an agreement that will connect Routt County Road 37 to U.S. Highway 40 later this year.

County Road 37 back on track

Hayden overcomes expansion obstacles for U.S. 40 link

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— After years of construction obstacles, the town of Hayden has reached an agreement that will finally connect Routt County Road 37 to U.S. Highway 40 later this year.

C.R. 37's new alignment will be nearly a straight shot to U.S. 40, Town Manager Russ Martin said. The road currently enters Hayden from the south and curves west around the north side of the Hayden Cemetery before merging with Shelton Lane.

Earlier this month, the town reached an agreement with St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, which owns the land the road will traverse, Martin said. Hayden and Peabody have been at odds about the details of the realignment, causing numerous construction snags since the project began more than three years ago.

Peabody is the parent company of Twentymile Coal Company's Foidel Creek Mine, which provides coal to locations including the Hayden Station power plant.

Peabody has agreed to a 15-year revocable easement for the property near C.R. 37, meaning the coal company will have to pay for the costs of realignment if they choose to revoke the easement, Martin said at last week's Hayden Town Board of Trustees meeting.

"It's not clearly the best, because we'd like to have it permanent, but they probably wouldn't have suggested it if they thought they'd have to move it," Martin said.

Precision Excavating of Hayden is poised to complete the realignment as soon as the ground thaws this spring, Martin said. The remainder of the work is estimated to take no more than a month to complete.

Although lightly traveled at present, C.R. 37 is expected to carry significantly more traffic in the coming years from new developments and subdivisions on the south and east sides of town. The road will also travel by the Hayden Police Department's replacement station, which will be built later this year on 2.33 acres of land originally owned by Peabody.

Police station

The new police station, due for completion later this year, would bring the Hayden Police Department out of its current cramped quarters in Town Hall and into its own facility on Shelton Lane near The Haven Assisted Living Center.

The Town Board unanimously selected TCD for the pre-construction contract Thursday.

"This would simply be for the preconstruction services, where we sit down with the contractor and get a price we can handle," Martin said.

However, TCD's role in the preconstruction phase would make them likely candidates for the contract to be issued for the building's actual construction in the coming months, he said.

TCD submitted the lowest bid both in terms of total prices and percentages. Other local governments have expressed high levels of satisfaction with recent projects TCD has worked on, including expansion projects of Yampa Valley Regional Airport and the criminal justice center in Craig, Police Chief Ray Birch said.

Preconstruction bids also were received from Fox Construction, PNCI Construction, Joe Mosciaro Construction and Tusca II.

The town had hoped to hire a local contractor for the project, but smaller firms were unable to acquire the bonds that would be necessary for the construction, Martin said.

Birch is proposing that the new station include facilities that will benefit not just the Hayden Police Department, but also the rest of law enforcement agencies working in West Routt, such as a detox center and a training facility.

A detox facility in Hayden would eliminate the need for law enforcement to transport drunken drivers all the way to Steamboat Springs, and then drive back before returning to patrol, Birch said.

The town hopes to break ground in March and begin site work, with completion of the project scheduled for December, Trustee Trace Musgrave said.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.5 million for the construction and an additional $300,000 to $400,000 for site work, Martin told the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. The town is expecting grant revenues to cover the full cost of construction, he said.

The Town Board also selected Chris Catterson, of Catterson and Company, P.C., to perform Hayden's annual audit for the 2007 fiscal year. Catterson has provided auditing services for the town for the past eight years.

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