Brad Church: Tragedy awaits
My wife and I love Steamboat, and in general, we love all that Routt County has to offer. We love it so much that we are slowly transitioning our lives from South Florida to our home in Stagecoach. Being in our mid-30s, we know that this is a place we feel comfortable in for the future. It is a wonderful place to live, and our family regularly visits us here (all from out of state).
However, I think recently a travesty has taken place — one that eventually will lead to a tragedy.
We returned this fall eager to see the progress that had been made on Routt County Road 14 and found much of it to be very well done if you just focus on the road itself. Knowing the limited budget the county was working with, it seemed logical that the road would be better but not ideal. Instead, it seems as if the county thought it would be best to put makeup on the problem to hopefully cover up the obvious blemishes — all while apparently ignoring the major safety issues.
There are a couple of massive problems that cannot be ignored. Just drive the road with your “eyes open” one time and you will see several 6-foot-plus drop-offs (still) within inches of the outside white lines, poorly marked and narrow curves through the pass with cliffs just off the edge (still) and a useless shoulder that is so soft you can barely walk on it (so what is the point?). Several areas need, at the very least, a wire railing system with raised reflectors to mark the edge of the road.
As winter approaches once again, I wonder how much longer we can avoid a tragedy on this road, and sadly, I wonder who must die before the county takes this issue seriously. This is a heavily traveled road, but you already know that Routt County, and whoever was in charge of making Routt County Road 14 a better and most importantly a safer road this year, failed miserably.
We can only hope that this isn’t the finished product.
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