Part of Routt County Road 76 near Hayden is down to one lane because of a slide and runoff that has caused the road to deteriorate.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Part of Routt County Road 76 near Hayden is down to one lane because of a slide and runoff that has caused the road to deteriorate.

Cog Road crumbling

Mudslide on C.R. 76 more hazardous than usual, neighbors say

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— Cog Road is on a downhill slide.

The edge of Routt County Road 76 crumbles every year as mud tumbles down from the snow bank above and water flows across, county Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper said. But this year, the erosion dips more into the middle of the road, making a half-moon shape, he said.

A section of the outside lane fell 2 to 3 feet, and the county has marked it with signs and cones and tried to fill the fallen section with gravel.

Neighbors are worried.

"When you go by there, you have to grit your teeth and say, 'Please let me get through,'" said Dana Wheelock, who lives at the top of the road.

She said the road is the worst it's been in the 12 years she's lived there.

The two lanes have been cut to one for several car lengths. Draper said the problem likely was to continue until the snow has finished melting and the road can be repaired.

Adding a guardrail and shoring C.R. 76, which runs between a hillside and a drop-off to a valley, could be costly, he said. It costs $20,000 a year to maintain the slide area, and a full repair could cost $1.5 million, he said.

The county doesn't have any plans for C.R. 76 besides its usual slide repair, Draper said. Wheelock said she worries about the buses that use the road daily.

"I don't know how the school buses are even getting through there," she said. Her 18-year-old son, Zed, doesn't ride the bus. But Wheelock warns him to be careful.

"We tell him, 'When you come around, when you're going down, be creeping, because one of these days when you're coming around, it's going to be gone,'" she said of the road.

County road officials have gotten energy impact grants to fix two other slide-prone roads in the area, Draper said. Those will address slide areas on C.R. 37 about three miles south of Hayden and on C.R. 27 between the Twentymile mine and Oak Creek.

His worry for C.R. 37 was similar to Wheelock's worry about C.R. 76.

"Our real concern on (C.R.) 37 is that we'll drive out and it'll be gone," he said. That road has a far steeper drop-off than the Cog Road, and a creek runs along the bottom of the drop.

He said the county monitors conditions daily on C.R. 76 and other roads. The road and bridge agency must balance cost with need when it looks for money for repairs. For now, options for C.R. 76 are limited, Draper said.

"We could close it, and people could go around on (C.R.) 78 back to Elkhead Reservoir," he said. "It's just a long way around."

Wheelock said that solution wouldn't be acceptable.

"With gas prices, if you have a diesel, at almost $5 a gallon, it's going to kill us financially," she said.

Comments

homegrown 6 years, 3 months ago

It seems like many roads in the county are in disrepair due to nature, but many are also just not modern enough to handle all the traffic in these growing areas. It also appears that the county is lacking any type of future plan to deal with all these up and coming issues. What gives?

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 3 months ago

My understanding is that the Colorado Counties and State are sorely lacking in funding for road and bridge maintenance.

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hilldwellers 6 years, 3 months ago

This part of the road has had problems for years and it seems the likelihood of this road ever being completely fixed is questionable. We have watched a county worker move the mud that has fallen onto the road, push it over the edge of the slide every morning. It appeared that extra weight on the unstable soil has accelerated the sloughing of the failing piece of road. Not to mention the water from the snow runoff that runs directly onto the eroded area. Something that has never been addressed is the undeveloped spring above the slide that saturates the soil and causes problems after snow run off as there is nowhere for the water to go except for in the ditch between the road and the uphill side (Slowly but surely cutting the road away from the hill). Aren't we is some kind of a drought as well? Were surprised it has taken as long as it has for something like this to happen. If proper action is taken it seems that two problems could be remedied and benefit all who use the road. We should be thankful for the county's concern throughout the years. Who else would be there to place a thin layer of road base over the crack, then pave over it to mask the problem, fix other areas of the road that aren't as bad, then tell us it will be fixed when there is enough money. How many more people use CR 37 than CR 76? Don't you think it's time something be done to FIX the problem? Band-Aids are not a solution.

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 3 months ago

We all complain about the condition of our roads, but when it comes time to pony up we act like penniless beggers!

Plans To Raise Money For Roads, Bridges Are Dead By Colleen Slevin, AP Writer DENVER (AP) State lawmakers on Friday abandoned efforts to raise car fees to pay for highway and bridge repairs after failing to reach a deal Republicans and Democrats could agree on.

Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo, asked a Senate committee to kill his bill that would have raised about $300 million a year through a combination of fees on Colorado drivers and rental cars. He said talks would continue after lawmakers left the Capitol next week and could introduce another bill next year.

Democrats control the House and Senate and could have passed a bill to raise fees this year without Republican support if they stuck together. But they tried to work with Republicans, traditional backers of increased highway funding, to build support for what could have been an unpopular move with voters in an election year.

During the talks, Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, proposed scaling back Tapia's proposal by tossing out a controversial $72 annual fee for older cars and cutting the fees for Colorado drivers to $10 a year and $3-a-day for rental cars. But the negotiations broke down partly because Republicans rejected imposing any fees on Colorado drivers, at least for now.

There was also resistance to tapping severance tax and federal energy revenue from groups that stand to benefit from them -- oil and gas communities and higher education.

Romer said without the energy dollars the plan would have only provided between $100 and $150 million a year, far less than the $500 million the state estimates it needs to keep up with repairs. Romer and other Democrats said it would be better to keep talking and return with a more complete solution.

"We can do the right thing next year rather than something this year," Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton, said.

Next year isn't an election year, which Romer said could make it easier to pass a solution.

Road projects are now funded with the money that is left over after other services, like schools and prisons, are paid for. Republicans said they want to find more money in the existing budget to pay for roads or use energy dollars before looking at raising fees.

But, unlike the panel, Penry said lawmakers have to answer to voters and need to reach their own consensus about the best solution.

Romer thinks Republican lawmakers, many of them from rural areas, have an incentive to cooperate with Democrats to prevent "balkanizing" road funding. If there's no statewide solution eventually, Romer said metro Denver voters could vote to tax themselves to pay for better roads and bridges just as they've done to pay for mass transit, leaving rural areas to fend for themselves.

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1234 6 years, 3 months ago

there was money for this project some years back, but then we had a few dry years, and the word is they spent the money at stagecoach, building roads and culverts,so that realtors could show property for sale.

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1234 6 years, 3 months ago

it is getting worse and your child may be driving on this road. they do not even put gravel on it anymore, and the warnings of road damage is not what you think it should be. mainly for some one who has not been on that road before.

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ranch76 6 years, 3 months ago

Some of us live in the opposite direction of county road 78.To close the cog would add at least another 40 minutes to drive to Steamboat to go to work, and then consider the price of gas. It scares me everyday, thinking that the hill will slide on me or the road will fall away.

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