CDOT meets bump in the road
B-b-b-be patient.That’s what Colorado Department of Transportation officials are asking of motorists who are enduring a b-b-bumpy drive on westbound Interstate 70 from Glenwood Springs to South Canyon.Rain and snow have combined to speed up the deterioration of the roadway’s aging pavement, making for a jarring trip and a difficult winter repair job for CDOT. The top layer of the roadway is peeling up in places, despite the chip-seal job that occurred a year and a half ago on the stretch of road. Dwayne Gaymon, junior foreman for CDOT in Glenwood Springs, said there was nothing wrong with the chip-seal work. It was just part of CDOT’s efforts to keep the road in good enough shape until a major reconstruction, scheduled for 2006. But Mother Nature is taking a heavy toll on the road this winter.”It’s coming apart due to the wet weather,” Gaymon said.He said the holes seem to be forming in the bottom layer of roadway, causing the chip-seal coat and patches to fall through.”We’ve been trying to hold the road together and repair it as needed until the major repave goes through,” Gaymon said. “It’s just time to be repaired, and being in the winter we can’t do a major repair because everything’s shut down right now.”Winter repair work is generally limited to doing cold patching of potholes, and waiting until spring to make better repairs. However, CDOT caught a break this week due to the emergency repair work being done in Glenwood Canyon to I-70 after a November rockfall. Contractors had to make up a special batch of hot asphalt mix for that job, so CDOT was able to order some extra mix that it applied to potholes in the Glenwood Springs area Thursday. CDOT officials hope that will make for a better temporary winter repair job. Gaymon said wet weather tends to break up cold mix, so repairs have to be redone.Gaymon said CDOT has gotten a few complaints about the condition of the highway, but the agency is doing all it can to keep potholes down through winter.”You’ll see us out there almost very day,” he said.Fortunately, he said, most of the potholes aren’t very deep. Nevertheless, “it’s kind off a rough ride,” he acknowledged.Motorists who travel in the left lane miss most of the bumps, Gaymon said.”But everybody can’t travel in the left lane either.”Meanwhile, thousands of vehicles per day help beat up the weathered road. And every time it snows, plows tend to peel up the roadway as well.”That’s what we do is we plow, then we repair potholes,” Gaymon said.He recommended that motorists keep their speeds down where potholes exist, for safety’s sake.Loren Fletcher, manager of Big O Tire in West Glenwood, agreed with that suggestion. He said he’s probably seen about eight vehicles come in for repairs due to tires being damaged by potholes.”I’ve had quite a few cars towed with one or two tires on both sides” damaged, he said.He can see why. “I drove home to New Castle and it’s like running the gauntlet.”Although Fletcher is getting some business from the potholes, he’d be happy to see the highway repaired.”It’s never good to have an unhappy customer in your store because of something like this,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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