Construction project starting Monday will remove traffic, and maybe some mosquitos, from Pamela Lane |

Construction project starting Monday will remove traffic, and maybe some mosquitos, from Pamela Lane

A drawing shows what the new Emerald Park access will look like.
Scott Franz

When it’s completed in the spring, a construction project starting Monday in Steamboat Springs will bring Pamela Lane resident Tommy Herzog and his neighbors some long-awaited peace and quiet.

As a bonus, the work might also spare residents in the neighborhood from some pesky mosquito bites.

The long awaited construction of the new access to Emerald Park will permanently divert vehicular traffic away from houses on Pamela Lane, meaning Herzog’s street will become a cul-de-sac and end at the old railroad crossing.

A mosquito problem in the area should also be addressed when crews simultaneously work to improve drainage near a slough full of standing water that Herzog said is a breeding ground for the insects.

“It’s gonna be nice,” Herzog said of the changes.

Herzog predicted his property value will also increase significantly due to the reconfiguration of his street from a busy thoroughfare to a quiet cul-de-sac.

Herzog and other Pamela Lane residents have endured years of headaches from having the access to Emerald and Yampa River Botanic parks run right in front of their driveways.

On Tuesday, Herzog described how parents picking up their children from rained-out soccer practices often race down the street, despite the series of speedbumps, if thunder and lightning are threatening the soccer fields.

He also reported seeing two dogs hit by cars on the street because of the heavy traffic.

“Sometimes, the traffic is non-stop,” he said.

Jodi Dorris, who has lived on Pamela Lane for 19 years, said she was thrilled the new access to the park is being built.

City officials have spent more than 17 years working to get a new access constructed.

But, the $2.36 million project has been delayed, because it needed an elusive approval for a new railroad crossing from Union Pacific Railroad.

A breakthrough came in 2015, when the railroad decided it wouldn’t oppose the city’s application for a new crossing.

Now, construction crews are ready to start.

Crews will work this summer and fall to build the new access, which will use a new railroad crossing just south of the Hampton Inn.

The work also involves improving the road that runs behind the Hampton and Freshies.

The current railroad crossing at Trafalgar Drive will close to vehicles, but the Yampa River Core Trail will continue to cross it.

However, the new crossing won’t be open until at least the spring, because the railroad will need to come in and install the new crossing platform.

Steamboat residents and visitors shouldn’t see much impact from the project until Aug. 7, when the road that runs immediately behind the Hampton Inn will close for road work.

Access to the Hampton Inn and all nearby businesses will remain open through the entirety of the project.

The work will be done in phases and gradually progress down the street, ending next year with some work on Trafalgar Drive, itself.

More than a dozen residents and business owners attended a pre-construction information meeting Tuesday.

United Companies project manager Tyson Waneka said there would inevitably be some impacts to businesses in the area.

“It’s gonna suck for a few months, but it’s going to be nice when it’s all done,” Waneka said. “We’re trying to get this done as soon as possible, so we can get out of your hair.”

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

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