Finally, a group, MPACT64 (Club 20 is a member), is leading an effort to secure more funds for our deteriorating state highway system. Out here in western Colorado, we hear of millions being slated for freeway or urban improvements and wonder if our turn ever will arrive.
Hundreds of miles of rural state highways lack shoulders, guardrails, passing opportunities and include poor curvature and dangerous intersections. Many miles have not been improved since constructed 60 or more years ago, back in the days of Model A Fords and 1 1/2-ton trucks. Some fall into the category of “paved wagon roads,” built originally with bulldozers and motor graders and later paved, never really engineered.
Earlier this year, the boards of county commissioners were furnished a plan for modernizing the state rural highway system. First, a cost estimate for bringing all rural state highways up to current standards would be developed. Then, a program would be established to complete the modernization in a set number of years, similar to the way the interstate highway program was set up. The program probably would take 20 years or more, depending on how much money would be dedicated yearly.
Here in Meeker, we must depend on Colorado Highway 13 for shopping or visiting medical facilities in Rifle, Craig or destinations beyond. We have no choice of an alternate route. We must travel over long stretches of an obsolete and dangerous highway. Our situation is not unique; thousands of drivers over rural state highways face the same threats.
Residents of rural Colorado should support the work of MPACT64.