Updated September 18, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.
Steamboat Springs Road construction on Colorado Highway 131 near the Steamboat Sand and Gravel Mine is causing traffic delays.
Part of Colo. 131 directly in front of the mine site, which is about six miles south of Steamboat, is down to one lane as improvements are made to the road to compensate for increased truck traffic in and out of the mine.
According to mine application documents, feedback from the Routt County Planning Commission and the Routt County Board of Commissioners led to the inclusion in the mine's proposal of plans for acceleration and turn lanes.
A left-turn lane will be for southbound traffic turning into the mine site, and the acceleration lane will be for northbound traffic turning out of the mine site.
The project is being carried out by a third party in a Colorado Department of Transportation right of way. Dan Roussin, with CDOT, said the project has been under way for about three weeks and could wrap up as soon as the end of next week, barring any construction setbacks.
Native Excavating owner Ed McArthur confirmed that the work on Colo. 131 should be done by the end of next week but said there is more road work to be done going back into the mine area. Alpine Aggregates, an offshoot of Native Excavating, operates the gravel pit.
The new access road to the gravel mine also will be used by the owners of the adjacent Tailwater Preserve property, McArthur said. He said the owners approached him after buying the $17.65 million property about sharing the mine’s access road. The current access to the Tailwaters Preserve is at the old Windwalker cabin just south of the gravel mine. That access will be closed after the new gravel mine access is completed, McArthur said.
To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com