Cone Zone: Field Report for Local Road Construction
Think of it as your Monday morning traffic report. Leadville Today checks in on a couple of road construction projects, as the winter weather slowly starts to sneak in on the roadways.
First up, it’s an update from SGM, the engineering firm responsible for verifying that the Mountain View and Mt. Massive Drive road construction work is completed according to the project’s plans and specifications. This interview is followed up and balanced against some of the comments received on social media platforms from residents along the under-construction routes.
“We have had a run of very good weather and construction continues at an increased pace,” reported SGM Project Manager Matt Hutson to Leadville Today last Friday. “More construction workers have been added to the project in recent weeks.”
Although local residents weighing in on social media wouldn’t necessarily agree. And just last week the conversation seemed to peak again as regular commuters along the road construction reported a supposed break down in communication, creating confusion and safety concerns.
Last Wednesday, Oct. 24 Leadville Today reader Kelly Murphy posted:
Seemed like communication broke down, flaggers told to hold traffic for a water truck that never appeared. Pilot car trying to lead traffic only to be stopped and given a detour at the next intersection. Overheard checkers saying people were getting angry. Detour signs off Mtn View into West Park, but then no follow up signs from there.
The project has seen its share of challenges, some of them having to do with finding qualified laborers locally, especially those who can pass a drug test. But SGM has stayed committed to the overall quality and safety of the project considering local roadblocks along the way.
“Quality control testing has been ongoing throughout the project and we continue to get good test results,” stated Hutson.
Other readers – particularly residents along Mt. Massive Drive through West Park, have expressed concerns about the overall plan from the SGM engineering team.
“It’s going to be an interesting plowing season,” wrote area resident Linda Duthie, representing the frustration of other long-timers in that neighborhood who expressed that engineers might have considered more seriously their knowledge of drainage and plow patterns along those streets. In addition, some of ACA’s, the projects’ contractor – work on the project has been called into question, noting several places where the work had to be torn up and redone.
Hutson reported that the “paving work should be largely complete on Mountain View Drive by the end of the day on Sunday (yesterday, October 18), weather permitting. Demolition and concrete work continues on Mt. Massive.”
“Slowly but surely,” retorted Brain Roque on the LT Facebook Page, which seems to sum up the overall sentiments surrounding Lake County’s most sizeable road construction projects in recent years.
“We are hopeful the good weather will continue and allow ACA to wrap up most or all of this project this construction season. Asphalt placement is dependent on air and ground temperatures, and so far we have seen temperatures well above the lower limits,” concluded Hutson.
For those placing bets or buying a square on the pool, here are some helpful facts. The contract completion date for this construction project is November 6. This week’s weather forecast: intermittent rain and snow showers every day through Friday.
But even if you’re not a betting person, please continue to use caution in the construction area, slow down and pay attention. You’re in the home stretch with some hometown people behind the flags!
Join the conversation on Facebook: HERE
Known Zone: Highway 24 West Rock Slide Remedy
The second road update comes from the notorious rock slide area long Highway 24 West between Red Cliff and Minturn. This area is located at mile marker 148-149, a stretch of highway susceptible to rock slides, closing the highway at least twice a year in recent times as boulders the size of small cars come crashing down off the side of the mountain.
The most significant rock slide which happened last December 2014 and peaked enough concern with the Colorado Department of Transportation officials (CDOT) to release a “specialty unit” to the area for assessment. Here’s a video of their solution to the area’s historic dangers.