Photo by John F. Russell
A wall of dirt and rock comes tumbling down a hillside on Colorado Highway 131 in September between Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek. The Colorado Department of Transportation on Monday will resume work to widen and improve a three-mile stretch of highway in Oak Creek Canyon.
CDOT projects in Routt County
■ Colorado Highway 131 widening project
When: Construction will run 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until November
Where: Mile markers 55 to 58 of Colo. 131 near the entrance of Oak Creek Canyon
What to expect: Motorists will travel on a single lane of gravel; plan for 10-minute delays. Speed limits will be reduced to 35 mph in the construction zone.
■ Mount Harris Canyon rockfall mitigation
When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until August
Where: Mile markers 113 to 120 on U.S. Highway 40 between Steamboat Springs and Hayden
What to expect: Motorists will travel on one lane through Mount Harris Canyon and should plan for 20-minute delays as crews bring down rocks and install fencing and netting to the cliffside.
Steamboat Springs Another major road construction project is set to start in Routt County next week.
Construction crews with Connell Resources will return to Colorado Highway 131 between Oak Creek and Steamboat Springs on Monday to resume a $6.9 million project to widen the two-lane road and make it safer.
Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Ashley Mohr said motorists should expect 10-minute delays when traveling through the construction zone between mile markers 55 and 58 about 10 miles south of Steamboat.
“What people will see is basically soil excavation for the next several weeks,” Mohr said.
Mohr said before the project paused for the winter, crews removed 96,000 cubic yards of soil and rock as they flattened hillsides to improve sight distance on the winding stretch of state highway.
She said that not long after work resumes Monday, the highway will be reduced to gravel, and traffic will be restricted to one lane.
After the soil excavation is complete, crews will install fencing, concrete ditches and rumble strips before eventually repaving the road, according to a CDOT news release.
This is the fourth CDOT project since 2002 to improve the safety of Colo. 131 between mile markers 58 and 65, according to CDOT.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com