Old farm to market road in South Valley due for a fresh coat of blacktop | SteamboatToday.com
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Old farm to market road in South Valley due for a fresh coat of blacktop

If you go:

What: Routt County Commissioners consider approval of a $1.25 million construction project on Routt County Road 14.

When: 11 a.m., April 21

Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs

Routt County commissioners will be asked Tuesday to consider awarding a $1.25 million contract to Native Excavating of Steamboat Springs for the second phase of improvements to County Road 14 on Yellowjacket Pass this summer.

Native was the lowest of three bidders on the job that involves overlaying seven-tenths of a mile of the road from Hibbert Lane over the top of the pass to Henderson Park Road. The bid includes lowering the elevation of 600 feet of road near the top of the pass to improve vehicle sight lines and widening the road.

If you go:

What: Routt County Commissioners consider approval of a $1.25 million construction project on Routt County Road 14.



When: 11 a.m., April 21

Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs



The first phase of the paving from Colorado Highway 131 to Hibbert Lane was completed in 2014. County Manager Tom Sullivan confirmed that, a year ago, the intent was to use County Road and Bridge workers and equipment to perform the the work of lowering the height of the road this year. Since then, it has been determined that this portion of the work would be better performed by a private contractor. The commissioners will be asked Tuesday if they want to assume the additional cost or waive that portion of the project and fund the overlay only.

Sullivan said the county budgeted very conservatively this year for mineral excise taxes it expects to receive back from the state of Colorado, but a recent projection from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs suggests there will be ample funds should commissioners elect to spend the additional money.

“The commissioners like what we’ve planned for that project, but they could have other ideas on where to spend that money,” Sullivan said.

Road and Bridge Director Janet Hruby said one of the benefits of lowering the crown of the hill is that it will produce excess fill, permitting a modest widening of a longer stretch of the road.

The portion of RCR 14 targeted for the improvements is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the county system, second only to Routt County Road 129/Elk River Road, according to Hruby.

A different Board of County Commissioners placed such a high priority on RCR 14 earlier this decade that they spent $1.2 million to acquire easements from private property owners needed to make a larger road project “shovel ready” for a federal stimulus grand of $13 million. That money proved not to be forthcoming, but the intent was to straighten RCR 14, a major commuter route from Stagecoach to Steamboat. Close to Highway 131, the road currently makes a series near 90-degree turns around property section lines.

A more recent board of commissioners — recognizing that historically, RCR 14 was an unpaved, two-track farm-to-market road built without the benefit of a proper gravel base — decided to commit to the current paving project.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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