Garfield County moves forward with Four Mile Road work |

Garfield County moves forward with Four Mile Road work

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Preliminary work on Four Mile Road is expected to begin later this summer, but is still contingent on wrapping up property acquisition agreements.

Eventually, the $3.3 million project will involve a new bridge and realigned intersection at Black Diamond Mine Road, straightening of the so-called “Dead Man’s Curve,” and paving of the final two miles of Four Mile Road leading to Sunlight Mountain Resort.

Garfield County commissioners, at a special Monday meeting, gave the go-ahead to proceed with land acquisition to serve as temporary construction easements for the project.

Commissioners also awarded a $266,400 contract to SGM to provide engineering oversight and quality control during construction, which is expected to continue into next year.

Earlier this summer, the county awarded the construction contract to Gould Construction. Actual construction is not expected to begin until late August or early September, commissioners were advised at Monday’s meeting.

Starting that late in the construction season could limit how much work is accomplished this year, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said.

“That gets us real close to the pre-winter season, is my concern,” he said.

Commissioners approved the road work against the wishes of some Four Mile Road residents, who said the work to scale the rock face at the curve could result in rockfall problems. The improvements could also lead to more speeding on the road, they said.

Others have said the improvements could also allow oil and gas companies to make a case for the use of Four Mile Road as a haul route for natural gas leases in the disputed Thompson Divide area southwest of Sunlight Resort.

Houston-based SG Interests has applied with the federal government for drilling permits on several leases on public lands in the area, which groups including the Thompson Divide Coalition are protesting.

The company has identified Four Mile Road as its preferred haul route if the permits are granted.

County commissioners have indicated that they oppose the use of Four Mile as a haul route. Some critics say the road should be formally removed from the county’s list of authorized oil and gas haul routes.

The city of Glenwood Springs has also objected to using Four Mile Road, and subsequently city streets including Midland Avenue, 27th Street and Grand Avenue, for hauling rigs and other equipment.

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