On schedule for October finish
The Taylor River Road resurfacing project appears to be moving along on schedule despite the recent consistent rains in the region. Work on the lower Taylor Road just above Almont has been going on all summer and will continue into fall.
The work between Almont and just below Harmel’s Resort started in early May. The contractor, Lacy Construction of Crested Butte, has completed all of the rock excavation without blasting and has placed the reclaimed asphalt that was milled from the old road back onto the lower four miles that has been rebuilt.
They are now finishing the installation of more than 70 culverts and hauling gravel to be placed prior to paving, which is expected to begin after Labor Day. The project completion date is mid-October, bringing an end to a project that was started in the mid-1980s when the portion of Taylor River Road between the Cottonwood Pass intersection and the bridge below the dam was reconstructed.
“This phase of the Taylor River Road project is the first phase that has required a cash match by Gunnison County. Previous projects required right-of-way acquisition, but the engineering, environmental work, and construction was provided by the Federal Highway Administration,” explained Gunnison County public works director Marlene Crosby. “Participation by the county is required by the new Federal Transportation Funding Bill.”
The obligated amount for the projects is $7,904,521. Gunnison County’s match is $1,360,368.18, or 17.21 percent of the total project cost.
“In 1986 the Board of County Commissioners told our department that we should just patch potholes on Taylor River Road because it was going to be rebuilt by the Federal Highway Administration,” recalled Crosby. “This project has been a long time coming, but it will save Gunnison County maintenance and snow removal dollars. More important, it will provide a better, safer road for our residents and visitors.”
The road closure from mile marker 2.5 to Jack’s Cabin will remain in place through the paving portion of the project.
Closer to Crested Butte, the county road and bridge crew are upgrading the Slate River Road and doing some work in the Alpine Meadows subdivision. “Next week we will chip-seal the Alpine Meadows subdivision road. That project is being done as a co-op with the subdivision [homeowners association]. They are paying for the materials and Gunnison County will provide the labor and equipment,” explained Crosby. “The week of September 9 we will complete the chip seal on Slate River Road from the end of last year’s project to Gothic Road.”