Steamboat Springs Poplar Street has been closed to through traffic for a week and sits ripped up and ready for rebuilding.
The Hayden thoroughfare is expected to be shut until November from U.S. Highway 40 to Dry Creek. Native Excavating won the $958,000 contract. Company owner Ed MacArthur said everything was on schedule.
MacArthur's crew has removed the asphalt and is grading the road. Native Excavating will start storm sewer work today, he said. Workers will install the sewer system in the next week before building a culvert. Poplar is closed to all but local traffic.
The road meets U.S. 40 at a stoplight and extends south toward the Routt County Fairgrounds. Drivers have been asked to use a detour on Third Street.
Native Excavating started the project by removing large cottonwoods to make way for a sidewalk.
"I know it's a shock to a lot of people what happened with the trees," Town Manager Russ Martin said.
But the tree removal will make room for sidewalks for children, a safety improvement, he said. Those sidewalks are part of a project planned for next year.
"The irony of it is that because it will feel safer, people will speed," Martin said. "But I hope they won't."
The town paid only the preliminary engineering fees, which were close to $50,000, Martin said. Grants and off-site improvement fees from the Lake Village subdivision will cover the rest.
"These types of projects, like that road project, are a good example of how we've been able to leverage the dollar" without raising taxes or using hundreds of thousands in town funds, Martin said.
The Poplar work will keep the street closed until at least November.
"Everything's gone very smooth so far," MacArthur said. "We haven't had any problems with anybody locally."