Four Mile construction frustrates residents
Post Independent Staff
Some people who live up Four Mile Road southwest of Glenwood Springs are getting fed up with construction that’s been going on since July and is slated to continue to October.
For Joy Benedict, having the road torn up has been a continual headache.
“When I go to work in the morning there have been 40 cars sitting waiting while they’re working. This is ridiculous,” Joy Benedict said.
The bone of contention is a sewer line being run up Four Mile Road and Dry Park Road to the Spring Ridge subdivision.
Garfield County required the developer to find an alternative to septic system because “of a concern for a central water system below (the lots) and a potential for contamination,” county planning director Mark Bean said.
The developer elected to hook up with city sewer 2.8 miles down the road near the former Four Mile Ranch subdivision. And that’s where the trouble began.
“The job hasn’t gone as fast as we anticipated,” said Dave Hillbrand, project manager for Tasco, which is constructing the line. “The first 3,000 feet of sewer line, from the (Four Mile) fire station to the front of Four Mile Ranch, there are existing electric, phone, cable TV and fiber optic not where they’re supposed to be.”
Those utilities were installed in conjunction with development of Four Mile Ranch. The developer of the project went bankrupt and the land went back to the bank that financed it.
“A lot of things were done quickly or improperly,” Hillbrand said. “It slowed us down to a production rate of much less than half of what we anticipated. Although Tasco planned to lay 400 feet of pipe a day, “our average so far is less than 200 because of all the problems.”
But for those who live up Four Mile, it’s the traffic delays that are frustrating.
“Over the holiday weekend, the road was terrible. Traffic cones were knocked down; there were no flaggers there all weekend; it rained. The road was really bad; people were driving on wrong side,” Benedict said.
However, she’s seen an improvement in the last week.
“All of a sudden in last week it’s been much better,” she said. “The waits are not as long.”
That’s no coincidence.
“We have changed the traffic control company entirely,” Hillbrand said. “The first one didn’t meet the requirements of the project. Things have changed hugely in last week.”
According to Tasco’s agreement with Garfield County, it can’t keep cars waiting more than five minutes. But that hasn’t always been the case.
“We’re really trying to limit the delays to no more than five minutes … The road was closed for a half hour a couple weeks ago. The gas company hit a gas line and they closed the road,” Hillbrand said.
Kinder Morgan is also installing a six-inch gas line into Tasco’s trench up Four Mile.
Part of Tasco’s agreement with the county includes repaving much of the 2.8-mile stretch to the Spring Ridge subdivision, he said, repaving the chip and seal surface with asphalt and widening it in some places.
“We’re attempting to do the paving at three different times so we don’t have to tear up all of the road to the end. But schedules are very difficult this time year,” he said, since paving companies are in their busiest season. He hopes to begin the first part of the paving in the next two weeks, from the fire station to just before the Bershenyi Ranch.
“Our goal is to end in October. Our goal is to get it done this year and not impact the ski season,” Hillbrand said. “We’ve tried to do the best we could. It’s been a strain, no doubt about it. I know it’s been a strain for the public. We apologize to everyone.”
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