With spring comes road construction
Orange traffic cones will soon sprout like spring flowers in Garfield County, as crews begin contruction projects large and small all throughout the region. Those who commute between Glenwood Springs and Rifle must contend with a massive paving project on Interstate 70 between mile markers 112 and 116. Pete Mertes, Glenwood resident engineer for the Colorado Department of Transporation, said Friday the project will be a full-depth pavement reconstruction for the freeway’s eastbound and westbound lanes. Three inches of asphalt will be removed, and crews will heat and remix an additional three inches of asphalt, with new asphalt placed on top of that, he said. CDOT will also do some guardrail adjustments, he said. The project is set to begin sometime in mid-June, Mertes said, and could be complete in September, though CDOT’s contractor on the project is allowed to work through October if necessary. A culvert repair project on I-70 stretching from Parachute to No Name will get under way this summer, but Mertes said it will likely have little effect on traffic. CDOT will also soon begin construction on park-and-ride parking areas, which should hold about 80 cars each, in Silt and Rifle along I-70 frontage roads. CDOT senior maintenance foreman Dwayne Gaymon said the projects will be complete in July. Maintenance crews will also begin sealing cracks on the interstate once the roadway dries out sufficiently, probably in a few weeks, he said. CDOT’s other big area project will be in Aspen on Colorado Highway 82. The highway will be repaved through downtown Aspen from milepost 39.5 to milepost 42. The project will begin in May and wrap up in October. Finally, roundabout construction at Colorado Highway 13 and I-70 in Rifle has been delayed. Rifle public works engineer Dick Deussen said contractor bids for two of the three planned roundabouts were higher than the city had estimated. The lowest bid was for $3.08 million. The two roundabouts scheduled for construction are on the south side of I-70, one at the eastbound off- and on-ramps, and the other at Highway 13 and Airport Road. “The city is trying to decide what to do,” Deussen said, adding that city officials are seeing if they can come up with more money for the project, or if other measures need to be taken to get it done. CDOT permit engineer Skip Hudson said Rifle’s permits for all three roundabouts expire at the end of the year. No funding is available for the westbound roundabout, he said. Deussen said that if the city finds a way for the roundabout project to move forward, construction could begin no earlier than May and would last through October.
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