State Highway 131 Restarting Monday After Winter Break

April 25, 2012 - PROJECT UPDATE - Work scheduled for completion in November 2012.

ROUTT COUNTY — Beginning Monday, April 30, 2012, work will resume after a winter hiatus on the State Highway (SH) 131 safety improvement project. Crews shut the project down for winter last November, and thanks to favorable weather, it is starting back up on time.  The project involves the reconstruction and widening of the highway from mile marker (MM) 58 south of Chokecherry Lane to MM 55, roughly 10 miles south of Steamboat Springs.

“Last fall, crews removed roughly 96,000 cubic yards of soil and rock to get the project started,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Rob Beck. “There is obviously plenty of work to go, but crews will be hard at work throughout the summer making safety improvements to this stretch of highway.”

During the next several months, the highway will be reduced to one lane within the work zone. As part of the work, the highway will be reduced to gravel until early October, and the speed limit will be reduced to 35 MPH at all times. Delays of up to ten minutes will be possible when passing through the construction zone. Motorists are urged to obey all traffic signs and flaggers, and to drive Slow for the Cone Zone.

So far, crews have performed extensive excavation of hill slopes as well as placement of embankment on fill slopes in order to flatten hills and straighten roadway curves for better sight distance. Fencing and culverts have also been installed after original fencing was removed. Early in the project, Qwest Communications (now CenturyLink) relocated fiber optic lines along the roadway.

Next steps in the project include a full-depth reclamation of the existing asphalt, which means that the existing surface will be reduced to gravel and then recycled to create part of the new roadway base. Additional work will include further soil excavation, adding fencing, installing concrete ditches, asphalt paving, installing rumble strips, marking the new pavement, installing new signage, and installing guardrails.

The project is currently on schedule and on budget. It is scheduled for completion in November 2012. Connell Resources is the project contractor with a winning bid of $6.9 million. Since 2002, CDOT has completed three major projects to improve the safety of SH 131 (between MM 58 and MM 65) for a contracted amount of approximately $12.1 million.

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