Construction Added to the Highway 24 Commute
If the daily drive isn’t dangerous enough for Leadville commuters on Highway 24 with eroded roads, damaged road signs, and flooding issues, there will now be road construction traffic thrown into the mix.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), in cooperation with American Civil Constructors LLC began roadway improvements on US 24 from I-70 Exit 171/Minturn off-ramps through the town of Minturn to Maloit Park Road (mm 147).
The work began earlier this week on Monday, May 13 and is expected to continue through October 2019. People traveling through the area should anticipate delays as they alternate through traffic.
This is a resurfacing project (FULL details HERE) to improve the existing roadway surface but will also advance safety enhancements throughout the corridor. Safety features include rockfall mitigation, upgraded storm sewer capacity, upgraded guardrail to meet current standards and added sidewalks to improve multimodal access. Significant storm sewer work will occur south of Cemetery Road to the bus stops (mm146) to improve drainage and reduce sediment discharge. Total project cost is $6.7 million.
- There will be no traffic holds before 9 a.m.
- ACC will be on-site Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Rockfall mitigation at mm 145 will begin May 13, 2019 and may require 20-minute traffic holds between the hours of 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. This work should be complete in May.
- Milling and paving operations will begin May 20, 2019 at I-70 heading south on US 24. Motorists can expect a single lane closure in either the SB or NB lane from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Trooper Tips: A Truck Load
By Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol
Summer is getting closer. You can tell by the occasional warm day that reminds you the lawn mower may need to be tuned up. So this means yard work is not too far in the future.
If you are like me, my truck is used to carry everything. Some items fit well, and others need to be carefully placed in the back to fit. When you are loading a truck or trailer make sure you are loading it correctly. Now, let me first define the term load. The load is anything that did not come in the back of the vehicle when you bought it, so this means anything and everything that is natural or man-made is, in fact, the load. So let’s move on.
I think we have all been behind a truck with grass clippings or leaves that are blowing all over the road as well as your car. So when hauling grass, leaves, or anything that is small and light that might float away, make sure you have a tarp to cover the load. You are not allowed to have items flying out of the back of your truck or trailer. That goes back to it doesn’t matter if it’s from nature or man-made, there are other ways to make sure it gets unloaded from your vehicle.
Another item I see being hauled around the area is tree limbs. Remember, when hauling unruly items that want to stick out of the bed of your truck or trailer, it is against the law to have them stick out further than, the fender of the driver side, or 6 inches from the passenger side fender.
Here’s another one I see a lot of on the roadways of Colorado. Just because you got it to fit into the back of your truck, doesn’t mean you are free and clear to go down the road with it. If it is so heavy that your suspension is no longer suspended on the rear axle and the front tires are struggling to keep in touch with the road, it’s time to maybe consider making two trips. Once again, that is illegal, not to mention very dangerous.
The final item is making sure you strap down anything you can. It shouldn’t matter if the load is light or heavy; a strap can make sure you don’t cause a crash or the very least damage the item you’re hauling.
Just a couple of quick tips this month on how to load and not to load your vehicle this summer when making your yards look great. So to summarize, make sure your load doesn’t exit the vehicle early, spread out too far, and that it watches its weight.
Remember to think safety first when traveling across this great state. As always, safe travels!
Indy Pass Final Decision On Hold
While business owners in Twin Lakes and travelers with road trip plans hang in the balance, so does the Colorado Department of Transportation’s decision to commit to an opening date for Independence Pass.
“Right now, it’s not looking like we’ll make our Memorial Day weekend target,” stated Tracy Trulove, Communications Manager for CDOT’s Region 3 which includes Leadville and Lake County. Her team was on site at the popular high mountain pass yesterday, May 16 which traditionally opens on Memorial Day Weekend for the summer season.
“We are scheduled to have the helicopter operation run next (week),” said Trulove, in reference to the avalanche mitigation work which will be done by air. “I really won’t have an idea on a potential opening date until after that mission.” CDOT is expected to release a formal statement sometime today, May 17 at which time Leadville Today will update this post.
However, Trulove was able to share that once CDOT clears the snow they will still need to do some maintenance on the roadway. On the Pitkin County side of Highway 82 there was an avalanche that ran in early spring, taking out about 200 feet of guardrail. All those repairs will need to be made.
Of course, LT wants to know about the Lake County side. Did yesterday’s field trip include the east side of Highway 82, most specifically the debris left behind from the March 9 avalanche near Monitor Rock?
“Our team will be having to do that clean up as the snow melts,” stated Trulove, adding she would have a better update on what the plan is for that debris clean-up next week.
So if you’re the betting kind, maybe it’s time to have some fun and start a what-date-will-Independence-Pass-open- in-June football-style pool? Until then, stay tuned to Leadville Today for the latest #IndyPass updates.