Commissioners extend Four Mile Road project
Post Independent Staff
Mounting problems with a sewer line extension on Four Mile Road have slowed the project and caused locals’ tempers to rise.
Garfield County Commissioner Tresi Houpt, who lives up Four Mile road, took the project manager to task for poor quality work and unsafe conditions Monday.
“It’s been somewhat of a disaster,” she said. “I drove down this morning and there was a construction truck in my lane on a blind curve. It’s a pretty constant threat.”
However, the county commissioners approved extending the Oct. 15 deadline to finish the beleaguered project.
The project is a new sewer line that will run up Four Mile and Dry Park roads, a total of 2.8 miles, to the Spring Ridge subdivision. In the first 3,000 feet of sewer line, from the fire station to the entrance to Four Mile Ranch, the general contractor, TARCO, ran into unexpected electric, phone, cable TV and fiber optic lines that were not where they were supposed to be.
Last week, the company ran into bedrock while trenching for the sewer line, which slowed the rate of progress even more, said project engineer Yancy Nichol.
“Under the time frame of the permit we are not going to be able to complete the project (by the deadline of Oct. 15),” Nichol said. The commissioners granted an extension until Nov. 12 to complete the project.
Nichol said the contractor will bring in a second crew to speed up work.
However, weather remains the wild card, especially when it comes down to paving the torn-up parts of Four Mile Road.
“We want to make sure we don’t have a road that’s not paved during the winter,” Nichol said. “I don’t see how we can get the paving done a week or two into October.” If it snows “and we can’t get asphalt, we won’t make it (the deadline).”
In that case, they would have to pull out for the winter and finish up in the spring.
Nichol said with the extension of the deadline, he could complete sewer installation to Bershenyi Ranch, then start up trenching on Dry Park Road and work downhill along Four Mile.
But Houpt said she worried that having two crews at work on the road at the same time would only increase the traffic holdups.
“We need to complete what has been disturbed and then assess,” she said. “I hate to be so critical, but I do drive the road every day. I’m pretty disappointed with the quality of this work.”
County road and bridge department director Marv Stephens said the contractor meets with the county road and bridge department every Tuesday morning to talk about problems with the project. He said the project could be assessed weekly on those days, and if weather intervenes, the decision could then be made to stop the project.
“It could be shut down at any time,” he said.
However, Nichol said he would prefer if at a given Tuesday meeting the decision was made to shut down the project, he be given until Oct. 18 to “button up” the work “so we have time (before Nov. 12) to pave. We need to get as much done as we can by Oct. 18.”
Commissioner Larry McCown agreed. “Let’s keep working at this thing,” he said. He also made a motion to extend the project deadline to Nov. 12, hold weekly status meetings and allow the contractor to work crews on Sundays with approval from Stephens.
“Let’s get this thing off center and get the road built,” he said.
Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510
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