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County to repair four roads

Crews will be repairing four Pitkin County roads this summer.

Harry’s Heavy Haulers of Basalt has won a $282,000 contract to complete repairs on Emma Road, Sopris Road, Capitol Creek Road and Upper River Road. The contract specifies the work will be done by Aug. 2.

Work on Capitol Creek Road will start today and finish June 4. Upper River Road will be repaired between June 1-11.



A 1.5-mile stretch of Emma Road, 1.2 miles of Sopris Road and 3.6 miles of Capitol Creek Road will get chip-and-seal overlays, said Temple Glassier, project manager for the county’s Public Works Department. That represents the full length presently paved on Capitol Creek, from the intersection with Snowmass Creek Road to the Monastery. Sopris Road is the connector between Highway 82 and East and West Sopris Creek roads.

The 1.5-mile section of Upper River Road between Smith Hill Road and Woody Creek Road will be slurry-sealed, Glassier said.




One lane will remain open at all times during the repair work on all four roads, said Brian Pettet, deputy director of Public Works. On Upper River Road, work will be scheduled to avoid commuter rush times. No work will be done between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. or between 4 and 6 p.m.

Pitkin County has had to adjust its road maintenance strategy because, last November, voters did not approve a property-tax measure aimed at funding road reconstruction, Pettet said.

“Our overall plan is the `pave-and-save plan,'” he said. The county hopes the light fixes to be done this summer will keep the roads in service until the Public Works budget has enough money to do major reconstruction on Brush Creek Road, the next county road in line for reconstruction.

It will take about $1.6 million to complete the Brush Creek job, and the county doesn’t have that now, Pettet said. If the property tax had passed, Brush Creek would be getting done this year, according to an earlier master plan, he said.

“We didn’t have enough money to fund our plan,” he continued. “This is a fall-back position. We’re doing the best we can with the money we have.”

The chip-and-seal fixes are costing the county about $1.37 per square yard, Pettet said. After a quick calculation, he said that amounts to about $15,000 per mile on a 20-foot-wide road.

The county is also doing dust-control work on roads throughout the valley. Pettet said crews applied a substance called lignosulfonate on Owl Creek Road last week, on an experimental basis. It’s a substitute for magnesium chloride, commonly used as a de-icer as well as for dust control.

Ongoing pavement patching work on Upper River Road north of Woody Creek Road should be completed this week, Pettet added.


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