Routt County Road and Bridge cleared to spend $440,000 on grader, remodel |

Routt County Road and Bridge cleared to spend $440,000 on grader, remodel

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize the Road and Bridge Department to spend more than $440,000 on new equipment and facilities, including a new Caterpillar motor grader that comes with a sticker price of $345,000 and the latest pollution controls.

The cost of the new grader from Wagner Equipment in Hayden, will be offset substantially by the $94,000 trade-in value of the 2001 motor grader that is being taken out of service. And the new machine is expected to return dividends in the form of reduced fuel consumption by as much as 15 to 20 percent.

County Purchasing Agent Marti Hamilton said the new grader meets the latest federal air quality standards. She added that the new emission control technology explains why the new Caterpillar costs $33,000 more than the last motor grader the county purchased in 2013.

However, Commissioner Doug Monger confirmed that Caterpillar said operators can expect the new engines to consume significantly less fuel, and said that would make a difference in operational costs during the 10,000 hours the county puts on its graders before trading them in. The county trades its graders in after 10,000 hours because the value drops steeply after that point, he explained.

Caterpillar literature describes how the new Tier 4 Technology engines reduce emissions in several ways, including: microburst fuel injection; an airflow optimization system that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions; a new diesel particulate filter; and an ammonia oxidation catalyst.

In approving the purchase of the grader, the commissioners agreed to Hamilton’s request that they waive the county’s formal purchasing process. She explained that for the past three years, the county has sent out requests for proposals to six suppliers and heard back only from Wagner and Honnen Equipment, the John Deere dealer in Grand Junction and Commerce City. The fact that the county would like to stay with Caterpillar, and the cost of transporting motor graders to Grand Junction for repairs, including sending two employees, makes it impractical to go with Honnen.

In addition to the motor grader, the commissioners approved plans to undertake a $94,000 remodel of the county shop in Steamboat Springs. The majority of the work would comprise finishing the second floor with wood-framed walls to create a new break room large enough to accommodate the entire staff. The windows will be replaced, duct work redone, a staircase will be replaced and wooden lockers will be built, among other things.

The request for proposals went to 13 building contractors and attracted six to a pre-bid meeting. However, only Tyke Pierce Construction and Calcon Constructors followed through. Pierce, the low bidder, was selected to do the work.

In addition, the commissioners authorized Road and Bridge to purchase a new 22-foot gooseneck trailer from Auto Parts of Craig for $7,495. It will replace an old trailer used by the Oak Creek Shop to haul culverts.

Finally, Road and Bridge was cleared to purchase a Mohawk (vehicle) Lift from the Hardware Shop Inc., in the south Denver foothills, for $8,441.

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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.