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Kudos for US 285 Snow Fighting Efforts

Stephanie Ferro was driving on U.S. 285 between Poncha Pass and Villa Grove, at the extreme north end of the San Luis Valley, on Tuesay, Feb. 11, when she stopped her truck on the shoulder of the road.  CDOT employee Cameron Stone (TM-I, Patrol 8 at Poncha Pass, Alamosa Maintenance Section 7, Region 5) stopped to see if she was okay.  She didn't need any assistance, but she was impressed by the gesture.

She e-mailed to say, "The snow plow driver on this section of U.S. 285 was first class!  He kept the highway and shoulders safe for drivers by meticulously clearing the snow.  This driver was a true civil servant when he stopped to make sure I was all right.  He is a top notch employee who goes above and beyond to ensure human safety on Colorado highways.  I wanted to make sure his efforts were acknowledged.  Thank you so much to everyone at CDOT for your work to maintain public safety and transportation ability!"

Stone's co-workers on Patrol 8, who are responsible for the stretch of U.S. 285 from Poncha Springs over Poncha Pass and on to the intersection where SH 17 departs south to Alamosa and U.S. 285 bends west toward Saguache, are:  TM-II Kaleb Dunn and TM-I Paul Cox.  Patrol 8 has been assisted by Adrian Quintana, who works in structural trades but who helps out when the big storms hit.  He and the members of Patrol 8, and all other area patrols, have been very busy the past two weeks.

This winter of 2013/14 has been heavier than normal in the Poncha Springs and northern San Luis Valley area, and in particular has been very severe from the end of January through the middle of February.  TM-III Tyler Carlson, who is based at Poncha Springs, noted, "Monarch Pass alone has received over 120 inches of snow since January 29.  Our whole Lincoln (Poncha Springs) area came together as one to successfully manage the snowfall and avalanche mitigation while keeping driving conditions throughout the area excellent."

The Lincoln area consists of three patrols based at Poncha Springs, one at Johnson Village (Buena Vista area), and two on Monarch Pass.  These patrols are responsible for sections of three key U.S. highways that carry heavy traffic volumes:  U.S. 24, U.S. 285, and U.S. 50.  "Our state highways in this area have been very well maintained despite the unusually heavy snowfall," Carlson added.  "I want to acknowledge all of the Poncha Springs are for their valiant efforts these past two weeks."

No doubt some of the best ski conditions in the world can be found currently in Colorado, and especially at Monarch Mountain Resort.  And the road conditions leading to Monarch are excellent, too.

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