Steamboat Springs Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect Native Excavating has been contracted to do the work.
The city of Steamboat Springs doesn't use any kind words to describe the highway medians that greet motorists on the south end the city.
“In their current state, they are unsightly, unkempt, ugly, and do not do justice to the friendliness, livability, or beauty of our community or to the high quality vacation experiences that tourists expect and enjoy,” city officials wrote in an application that sought lodging tax dollars to upgrade the medians on U.S. Highway 40.
The infrastructure didn't end up winning any lodging tax dollars, but the city now is ready to move ahead with the project to improve them.
Starting Tuesday, crews with Native Excavating will begin landscaping and hard-surfacing the medians that run from JD Hays Way to Pine Grove Road.
A news release from the city advises motorists to drive carefully in the construction zone and expect delays during the span of the project because of lane closures.
The work, which entails adding aspen trees and native shrubs to sections of the median, is expected to be done by early November.
According to a description of the median landscaping project included in the lodging tax application, the work will complete a median improvement project that started in 1996.
The city is partnering with the Urban Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee to complete the project.
The cost of the project wasn't available Monday.
According to the lodging tax application for the work, the city estimated the overall cost of improving the medians from Walton Creek Road to Pine Grove Road on the highway would be $547,678.
The costs cover such things as traffic control, erosion control, and the stamped concrete.
The project includes a $160,000 budget appropriation from the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority, which oversees improvements to the base of the ski area through tax incremental financing.
Median improvements are one of a few construction projects that are ongoing in the city.
Last week, crews started to replace an old water main that runs along Pine Street from Fifth to Ninth streets.
The project will include rolling, one block closures of Pine, and is slated to be completed in November.
In the coming weeks, the city also plans to start work that will improve the Casey's Pond trail near the intersection of U.S. 40 and Walton Creek Road.
Residents can learn more about construction projects by visiting www.steamboatsprings.net or by following the city on Facebook or Twitter.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com
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