Steamboat Springs Editor's note: This story has been updated from its original version to add information from CDOT saying the U.S. 40 project has been canceled for the day because of weather.
Just as Steamboat Springs’ major downtown road construction project gets under way, a significant winter storm is expected to dump a foot of snow or more on the city.
The state-funded U.S. Highway 40 repaving project began Monday in downtown Steamboat, albeit not without a little confusion. After telling residents the work — and subsequent one-lane travel — would begin on the west side of downtown, crews from Scott Contracting began their job on the east side of downtown, at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue.
Traffic heading into downtown from the mountain area backed up significantly midday while construction crews used an asphalt milling machine to prepare the surface of the road for the eventual concrete overlay.
By Monday afternoon, the crews and their asphalt miller had moved to the west side of downtown, and the afternoon commute out of Steamboat got a taste of things to come in the weeks and months ahead.
Jody Patten, project information manager for Scott Contracting, said motorists should expect one lane of travel in each direction beginning at 13th Street and continuing past 11th Street. She said residents leaving their Fairview neighborhood homes will be able to turn right onto Lincoln Avenue from 13th Street, but they shouldn’t expect to turn left from Lincoln onto 13th Street when they head home. Construction officials are urging motorists not to make left turns from Lincoln Avenue in areas where traffic is reduced to one lane.
Patten initially said the heavy snowfall forecast for today shouldn’t bring a quick end to the beginning of the repaving project, saying Scott Contracting’s crews would clear the snow from the asphalt and continue with the job of ripping up pavement. But an e-mail this morning from the Colorado Department of Transportation said work on the project was canceled for the day because of weather.
A winter storm warning is in effect for Steamboat Springs and vicinity until 6 a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. The warning went into effect at noon Monday.
The heaviest snowfall was expected to take place overnight Monday and into this morning.
Total storm accumulations are expected to be 8 to 16 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Strong winds will accompany the storm, with sustained southwesterly winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts up to 40 mph. Those wind gusts could even top out at 70 mph.
Today’s high is expected to reach 32 degrees, with a low tonight of 16. The storm will leave the region Wednesday and give way to clearing skies Thursday. The high temperature Thursday and Friday could push into the 50s. Closing weekend at Steamboat Ski Area could be met with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-50s, according to the National Weather Service.
— To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4221 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org