Steamboat Springs The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to award a $1.9 million contract to Duckels Construction, of Steamboat Springs, for a giant traffic roundabout on Routt County Road 27. The 200-foot diameter roundabout is being built in anticipation of heavier coal hauling traffic as Peabody Energy prepares to shift its underground coal mining operations to the new Sage Creek Mine.
Routt County will manage the construction project, but Peabody Sage Creek Mining will pay for the work. There were three higher bidders for the job.
Routt County Road and Bridge senior engineer Heather McLaughlin previously has told the Steamboat Today that the roundabout will improve safety at County Roads 27 and 27A. And the heavy, twin trailer coal trucks that pass through the intersection will be able to flow continuously without stopping.
Heavier coal hauling traffic on the county road is expected because coal from the new mine will be hauled south from the new mine to the existing processing and railroad loading facility at Twentymile Mine.
McLaughlin told the Steamboat Today that she expects the roundabout to significantly improve safety for area residents and other private motorists who travel in the midst of the coal trucks.
Chicken Creek Bridge
In other business, the Board of Commissioners awarded two contracts to Craig contracting firm Anson Excavating and Pipe for the replacement of two remote bridges in northwest Routt County: the Chicken Creek Bridge on C.R. 82 and the Salter Creek Bridge on C.R. 1W. Both bridges are among those in the worst condition in the county.
The Chicken Creek Bridge in far northwest Routt County sees an average of 10 daily trips in the summer. Slater Creek, a little farther west, averages nine daily trips. The numbers dip to zero in the winter, when the roads aren’t plowed.
Anson Excavating submitted the low bid of $269,826 on the Chicken Creek Bridge, as well as the low bid of $297,270 on the Slater Creek Bridge.
When county officials conducted a mandatory pre-bid meeting on the project, 10 contractors attended. However, Duckels submitted the only other bids at costs of more than $100,000 over Anson’s bids on both bridges.
Road and Bridge Assistant Director Paul Draper told the county commissioners that contractors were hesitant to pursue the project because of its remoteness, about 25 air miles north of Hayden near the Moffat County line.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com