County Road 306 repaired, but traffic still halted
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
A controversial road-repair project near Parachute, which began nearly two years ago, is reported to be finished, but the road remains closed due to legal wrangling.
“The road is just sitting here, ready to be used, and we can’t get a definitive answer as to why the parties won’t sign,” said Dorothy Nauroth, whose family lives along the road.
County Road 306, which loops southward from CR 300 west of Parachute, runs up along the Wallace Creek drainage, over a dividing ridge and returns down the Spring Creek drainage. The ends of the CR 306 loop connect with CR 300 at two points about a half mile apart.
In 2008, the Noble Energy company was attempting to lay a pipeline under the roadway, near the furthest point on CR 306 from the intersection with CR 300, to carry natural gas from nearby wells.
But a subcontractor working on the project damaged the road so badly that it had to be closed for safety reasons, according to county officials.
Then, as officials tried to determine what to do next, a dispute arose over whether the road followed its legal right of way.
The road was deeded to the county by area rancher Norm Dutton, but the county belatedly realized that the deed had never been properly recorded.
The county has had to negotiate with the Dutton-Dixon family, who own land beneath the old 306 Road, to establish an agreed-upon right of way, among other issues.
According to an official with the road and bridge department, the repairs are completed and the road is ready to be reopened, except for continued legal issues about the right of way, which are being handled by County Attorney Don DeFord.
Calls to DeFord for clarification were not returned.
“I don’t think the taxpayers know what’s going on,” declared Nauroth on Sept. 21. She claimed to have spoken to a county commissioner, who told her the holdup at this point is over minor details and should be cleared up soon.
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