Photo by John F. Russell
Construction worker Betty Elder directs traffic through a construction area on Routt County Road 131 on Friday afternoon just outside of Oak Creek. The work is expected to be completed by mid-November.
Steamboat Springs The Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to allow for extra driving time when passing through Routt County constructions zones.
Work to widen and rebuild a three-mile stretch of Colorado Highway 131 about 10 miles south of Steamboat Springs is meant to improve safety and sight distance for drivers. The $6.9 million project taking place between mile markers 58 and 55 involves recycling the road surface into a gravel base for asphalt resurfacing.
“The highway has been reduced to gravel until early October, and the speed limit will be 35 mph at all times,” a news release stated. “Delays of up to 10 minutes will be possible when passing through the construction zone.”
For the next few months, the highway work zone has been reduced to one lane from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.
CDOT expects Connell Resources will begin laying the new asphalt surface in mid-August, and, depending on weather, the process will take three to four weeks. The project is on budget and on schedule to be completed by mid-November.
According to the release, the project has entailed extensive excavation work to flatten hills and straighten curves. Fiber optic lines have been relocated, and new fencing and culverts have been installed.
Improving Colo. 131 has been a priority for CDOT. Since 2002, three major projects were completed between mile markers 58 and 65 at a cost of about $12.1 million.
Work also continues on two projects between Hayden and Steamboat in the Mount Harris Canyon area.
Through Friday, motorists can expect delays of as long as 20 minutes as crews install rockfall-mitigation fencing along the cliffs. A resurfacing project also is taking place between mile markers 108 and 113.
“CDOT urges motorists to build in plenty of travel time to allow for travel through both work zones,” the release stated.
Work on both projects is being done on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and some work is being done between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays for the resurfacing project.
The resurfacing project is expected to be completed in August, and the Mount Harris Canyon project is expected to be completed in September.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com