A road project aimed at improving safety along one of the primary haul routes for the oil and gas industry, and which has been on Garfield County’s to-do list for better than a decade, is set to go forward.
Garfield County commissioners, meeting in Carbondale Monday, awarded a nearly $5.2 million contract to Con-Sy Inc. to rebuild a 2.2-mile section of County Road 311 (West Divide Creek) south of Silt.
Work is expected to begin later this month on the section of road, located about 7.8 miles south of the Colorado River, and continue until November of next year, according to Garfield County Engineer Jeff Nelson.
The project will entail replacing what are now two, one-lane bridges crossing the creek in that area with two-lane bridges, and reducing the steep grade approaches to those bridges, Nelson said.
Drainage and structural improvements will also be made to handle current and projected traffic levels, and a paved asphalt road surface will replace what’s now a mix of gravel and chip-seal, he said.
“The biggest issue is safety in that area, because we have vehicles coming down what’s now about a 13 percent grade into single-lane bridges,” Nelson said.
The road project involves lessening that grade approach to between 8-10 percent, and adding an additional traffic lane.
Nelson said no detours are planned during the construction at this point, although traffic will be reduced to one-lane at times with intermittent delays. Traffic control will be in place during those times, Nelson said.
As part of the deal, the county commissioners also approved the purchase of five temporary construction easements, totaling $37,825. The temporary easements will allow construction crews to encroach on private property outside the existing road right of way while the project is being completed.