State Highway 131 Construction Project Moving Forward

July 20, 2012 - CONSTRUCTION PROJECT UPDATE - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Work on schedule for mid-November 2012 completion.

ROUTT COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is moving forward on work to reconstruct and widen State Highway (SH) 131 from mile marker (MM) 58 south of Chokecherry Lane to MM 55, roughly 10 miles south of Steamboat Springs. The project will greatly improve the safety of the highway by adding safety features and creating better sight distance for motorists.

Currently, crews are conducting a full-depth reclamation of the existing highway surface, which means they are essentially recycling the existing asphalt surface into gravel base. Right-of-way fencing and concrete barrier guardrails are also being installed. It is anticipated that new asphalt resurfacing will begin mid-August and continue for three to four weeks, depending on favorable weather conditions. Following asphalt resurfacing, new traffic signs, final pavement marking, and rumble strips will be installed.

During the next few months, the highway will be reduced to one lane within the work zone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The highway has been reduced to gravel until early October, and the speed limit will is 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 made major safety improvements to flatten hills and straighten roadway curves for better sight distance, which has required extensive excavation work. Fencing and culverts have also been installed after original fencing was removed. An eight inch shoulder will be paved later in the project to further widen the roadway. CenturyLink, formerly Qwest Communications, has also relocated fiber optic lines along this stretch of roadway.

The project is currently on schedule and on budget. It is scheduled for completion in mid-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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