County gets partial funding for road | SteamboatToday.com
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County gets partial funding for road

Susan Cunningham

Routt County will receive $1 million from the state to reconstruct a portion of Twentymile Road, just more than two-thirds of the $1.4 million it requested from the Department of Local Affairs.

Although the tight budget expected for this year means the county will be searching for that remaining $400,000, county commissioners said they were happy to receive the funds.

“You can’t laugh at $1 million, it’s still $1 million,” Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said. “So we’re very thankful for the $1 million.”

The funds will go toward a $2.6 million project on Twentymile Road, also known as Routt County Road 27, which connects Colorado Highway 131 and U.S. Highway 40.

The project, which will engineer, reconstruct, realign and overlay a 3.1-mile section of the road, is the third phase of a project to improve 7.1 miles of the road.

The county is putting out a request for proposals for construction engineering services on the project and is hoping that project bids come in under what was estimated, which commissioners said is not likely.

The goal is to do the reconstruction work next summer, Monger said.

“We would like to move forward as quickly as we can,” he said.

The county already has dedicated $170,000 to the project, with another $450,000 from Twentymile Coal Company and $560,000 from Xcel Energy. The coal and energy company contributions come from county-charged fees for road maintenance.

“We’ve had good support and participation from the (different) entities,” Routt County Commissioner Dan Ellison said.

The county will take a hard look at the coming year’s budget and compare this project with others, Monger said. There is a chance the project could be scaled down to make it work.

In late July, the state advisory committee for Colorado’s Energy and Mineral Impact Fund unanimously recommended that Routt County’s grant request for $1.4 million to upgrade Twentymile Road be funded in full.

Earlier this month, the director of Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs decided to only fund about $1 million of the project.

“Given the competing demands for available resources, I am unable to provide funding for the entire project,” a letter from director Michael Beasley stated.

Reconstruction work typically costs about $1 million per mile of road, Routt County Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper said.

The project was the only request coming from towns and groups in Routt County. Overall, counties across the state requested more than $18 million for projects in this cycle.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com


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