Grant to fund county road improvements |

Grant to fund county road improvements

Dana Strongin

Routt County roads 33 and 65 soon will drive a little smoother, thanks to a state grant.

County officials recently were awarded a $1.5 million grant from Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs. The grant is part of the department’s efforts to help counties affected by significant mineral exploration and extraction activities, particularly coal and natural gas.

In a letter to the Routt County Board of Com-missioners, DOLA Executive Director Michael Beasley said state officials want to continue to encourage energy and mineral development because of the revenues they bring, but officials also recognize the effects on roads.

“We at DOLA have recognized your county roads have been severely impacted and road and bridge budgets stretched,” the letter reads.

Commissioner Doug Monger said he was excited about the grant.

“It’s important that DOLA recognizes the immediate needs out here. Several areas are impacted and are not being adequately funded,” Monger said. “These funds help create a benefit to the citizens who are dependent on services.”

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Commissioner Dan Ellison said the grant money helps the county open the budget to fund other road projects.

The grant-funded improvements will include $1.3 million for overlay or pavement on about 14 miles of C.R. 33, which is part gravel.

Ellison said improving C.R. 33 is important.

“It’s one of the most significant county roads that we have,” Ellison said.

The rest of the grant money will go toward C.R. 65, on which work will include drainage and subgrade improvements and re-graveling. The improvements will run from the Moffat County line past C.R. 32Z.

According to a DOLA requirement, the projects must be completed by Aug. 15, 2006.

— To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229 or e-mail