Routt County Board of Commissioners to reconsider paving


— The Routt County Board of Commissioners next week will reconsider action they took May 24 after a couple of residents expressed concern Tuesday that the commissioners weren’t following procedure.

Dori Weiss and Todd Hagenbuch said during public comment that the approval of a chip-and-seal project on a 0.6-mile gravel section of Routt County Road 18 didn’t comply with Routt County Road & Bridge Department policies. The gravel section connects with a one-lane dirt road leading to Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area.

The county chip-and-sealed about 1 1/2 miles of C.R. 18 in 2003. A portion of the road was left as gravel.

The policy and procedure document has eight points that should be considered when the county paves a gravel road. Weiss and Hagenbuch questioned whether commissioners considered four of them:

■ “Road improvements must be consistent with the County Road Management System and considered as part of the budget process.” The $41,538.50 project was a supplemental budget item.

■ “The average daily traffic count on a county road must be sufficient to justify pavement.” It recommends a count of 300 to 500. Road & Bridge Director Paul Draper said the count for that section of road was about 100 in 2003.

■ “Comparing pavement costs, pavement life and maintenance costs must be more cost effective than the ongoing maintenance of the gravel surface.” Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan said although it’s cheaper to operate a snowplow on paved roads than a road grader on gravel roads, “when you consider all the costs, there is not a cost benefit of doing this project.”

■ “Public opinion should be considered prior to paving a gravel road.” Sullivan acknowledged he should have gathered nearby homeowners, who are split on the issue, for a public meeting before commissioners took action.

Board Chairwoman Diane Mitsch Bush said Tuesday that she learned about the policy and procedures document for the first time during public comment. She said the county hasn’t paved a gravel road since she joined the Board of Commissioners in January 2007.

“I thought to myself, ‘If these are indeed our policies, we should reconsider this,’” she said.

Sullivan said the policy and procedures document was drafted after C.R. 18 was chip-and-sealed in 2003, which was paid for through a federal grant.

Commissioners Doug Monger and Nancy Stahoviak voted in favor chip-and-sealing the gravel portion of C.R. 18 on May 24. Mitsch Bush opposed it.

Sullivan said that all commissioners agreed to reconsider their decision but that he didn’t know whether they had changed their minds.

Sullivan said the policy and procedures document wasn’t presented to commissioners before they took action because he thought chip-and-sealing the gravel portion of the road was a maintenance issue and not a road improvement. Sullivan said he would address the requirements of the document before commissioners meet next week.

Draper said the project, which also includes chip-and-sealing the paved portion of C.R. 18, could begin as early as July 20.


homegrown 5 years, 8 months ago

I'd really like to see the paper do an investigative story on the history behind the improvements to CR14 and CR16 which both have huge issues. Could be wrong on this, but supposedly the county was to be budgeting for road improvements from long back and to my knowledge has purchased several sections to upgrade the road. But as I see it they have no money for the upgrade. To spend money on a road that only sees 100 people per day, to probably the 1000 that drive 14 is preposterous. The new section of chip and seal on 16 is a complete disaster. These are major transportation areas for Steamboat. Can somebody please inform me of what is going on?


kathy foos 5 years, 8 months ago

131 is falling down the cliff in Oak Creek Canyon.I don't know how much longer that road is going to hold up, next year a semi will probably push it down and half the road will be gone,then everyone will need to go over yellowjacket pass and that road is just horrible too.Why put any money on a road people mostly jog on and is a pleasure drive from the Catamount area ?That Stagecoach road needs repair bad,and many people commute on it over 131.


spidermite 5 years, 8 months ago

homegrown, You should call the County Commissioners. Good luck !


mavis 5 years, 8 months ago

As I was driving to town the other day down RCR #14 headed to the court house ready to fork over $2000 in taxes for a vehicle and licensing that one and another one I was pretty annoyed. I counted over 80 bikers that morning and they don't pay squat for their "bike" to share the road.

I know many bikers and they are wonderful people too but at some point they need to SHARE the cost.
If they had to pay $50 a year to license their bike and have a "license" to follow the rules too maybe the county could afford to fix the roads and safety for ALL would increase!! ( you know you would lose your bike privlidges for a few months for riding 6 deep and NOT moving over:)

Just a thought


spidermite 5 years, 8 months ago

I would like to see the commissioners reconsider the minor requests that the residents of CR132 have. This county road was desiginated a "scenic byway" in 1990. We have continually had dust surpressent applied ,at the County's expense, since this designation. Over the past couple of years the rules have changed. The extra traffic hasn't. This is a health issue for the residence. They supply dust surpressent to roads don't have the traffic volume 132 has. Something is wrong here!


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