Mountains

Weather still affecting Broadway project

By Michael Maresh Journal staff writer

The cold temperatures earlier this month resulted in the Highway 160/491 South Broadway reconstruction project being pushed back a few weeks.

The result will be a few intermittent delays over the next few weeks for the curb and gutter work for the project that started in July 2012.

Nancy Shanks, Colorado Department of Transportation public relations spokeswoman, said the initial plan was for the crews to come back after the winter holiday to finish some work before suspending activities until the spring.

The sub-zero temperatures that hit Montezuma County for close to three weeks changed the plan.

Shanks said while it is not impossible to work in the extreme cold conditions it would not have made sense because the additional cost would have far outweighed the benefits.

For concrete work to take place, Shanks said the temperatures cannot drop to below 20 degrees at any time, and on Wednesday morning temperatures remained in the single digits.

"It's not cost effective," she said of working in extreme frigid temperatures. "They planned to mobilize earlier this month but they needed to wait the colder weather out. Now, we have temperatures in the low 20s, so they will be back on Feb. 4."

Once the workers return Shanks said they will work two to three weeks to complete some projects before suspending work again until April.

When returning Monday, construction crews will be working on curb and gutter work, drilling for the signal poles to be installed in the spring, completing the permanent street signs and completing the construction work in front of Keese Motors.

She also said there needs to be repairs on some concrete areas for drainage concerns at the Highway 160/491 Highway intersection.

When the crews come back in April they will be working for two to three weeks on the final striping of the highway, the crosswalks, the streetlight and final paving and mulching in needed areas

Shanks said the expectation of the crews returning to finish the project will be in April and explained the weather has to be a minimum of 60 degrees to put down the permanent striping of the highway.

As the contractor prepares to wrap up this project, CDOT is gearing up for an $8.8 million project on Highway 160 between mile post 27.5 to 36 for the repaving plan that will run from the end of the current project to the turn for Towaoc.

The contract has been put out to bid, but no contractor has been selected yet for the repaving project.

Shanks said this project, expected to start in April, will be the first repaving of this stretch of highway since the 1980s.

She said this project, scheduled to be completed in September, will begin while the South Broadway project is wrapping up.

"We will be addressing surfaces that are deteriorating," she said. "It will improve the ride for motorists."

But there will be traffic delays with only one lane of traffic being open during the six-month project.

Shanks also said a future project, yet to be scheduled, will include passing lanes between mile posts 27 and 30.

michaelm@cortezjournal.com

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