Garfield County meeting to address Four Mile Road plans |

Garfield County meeting to address Four Mile Road plans

John Stroud
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Some residents of the Oak Meadows subdivision and elsewhere along Four Mile Road are concerned that Garfield County’s plans to do more than $3 million in improvements to the so-called “dead man’s corner” section of the road could actually make the road less safe.

County commissioners agreed earlier this week to schedule a special work session with residents of the area to discuss their concerns and explain what the county has in mind.

That meeting will take place at 9 a.m. today in the commissioners meeting room at the Garfield County Administration Building, 108 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs.

Garfield County road and bridge officials and engineers have been working for the past year to design safety improvements at the intersection of Four Mile and Black Diamond Mine roads (County Roads 117 and 126).

The work, which is budgeted for $3.25 million, is to include replacement of the bridge across Four Mile Creek onto Black Diamond Mine Road, as well as reconstruction of the curved section of Four Mile Road just to the north of the intersection.

The county is still in the process of negotiating with private property owners to obtain additional rights of way in that area. Actual construction is not expected to take place until next year.

However, people who live in the area and drive the road are concerned about disturbing the cliff face, and the potential rockfall problems that could result, said Trési Houpt, an Oak Meadows resident and a former county commissioner, during the public comment portion of the June 3 Garfield Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting.

“There is a huge concern for safety on that road,” she said. “As it is now, we have a good, calming curve that slows people down. If you do something to that curve, people will speed up, rocks will fall, and we will have some problems.”

According to county officials, the planned improvements will bring the roadway in that area and the intersection up to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials standards.

Bid opening for the work took place earlier this week, and the BOCC was originally slated to award the bid at its regular Monday in Parachute. Commissioners agreed following Houpt’s comments to meet with area residents in the meantime to hear their concerns.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said the road work that is proposed will make that section of Four Mile Road safer.

“That’s called dead man’s corner for a reason,” Jankovsky said, relating a close call with a log truck while driving around the curve one day last fall. “Those things don’t usually scare me too much, but that one scared me a little bit.”

Jankovsky called it “one of the most dangerous corners in the county,” and noted that there have been multiple deaths from accidents along that stretch of road over the years.

At the same time, he said he would like to hear the engineers explain again what the new design will entail.

County engineers offered six proposals at an earlier public meeting to discuss the project. Using input from residents and through the county’s right of way discussions, a design was agreed on, commissioners said.

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