Traffic backs up on U.S. Highway 40 west of downtown Steamboat Springs on Tuesday afternoon due to utility work along the road. Traffic is expected to get worse in the area Thursday when a major road construction project kicks off on both sides of the city.

Photo by Scott Franz

Traffic backs up on U.S. Highway 40 west of downtown Steamboat Springs on Tuesday afternoon due to utility work along the road. Traffic is expected to get worse in the area Thursday when a major road construction project kicks off on both sides of the city.

Major road construction project set to start Thursday in Steamboat Springs

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— On the eve of one of the biggest road construction projects this city has seen in recent years, Clint Moyer has one piece of advice for area drivers and bus riders.

"Leave a little early," the Colorado Department of Transportation engineer said Tuesday morning.

Work originally was scheduled to start Wednesday, but Moyer reported that drivers will get a one-day reprieve from the start of the cone zones.

Moyer said because of some stalls in paperwork, the project now is set to begin in earnest Thursday morning.

He said drivers should expect to see traffic go down to one lane near Pine Grove Road on the east side of town and near Elk River Road to the west.

The scope of the work during the first days of construction still was being finalized Tuesday.

Moyer said work near Elk River will involve the start of conduit work, while he said crews may start locating underground utilities near Pine Grove Road.

Drivers could encounter heavy construction and traffic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

CDOT crews were out on the highway on the west side of downtown Tuesday afternoon doing maintenance work that isn't related to the major construction project.

The $5.8 million project will repave U.S. Highway 40 on both ends of downtown, rebuild intersections and replace curbs and gutters.

It is scheduled to last until Dec. 5.

Motorists are advised to obey lower speed limits in the cone zones.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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