CDOT provides county with regional road update

By Hank Lohmeyer


Engineers and managers from CDOT reported to the Board of County Commissioners recently on the much improved railroad grade crossing at SH 50 in Delta, and on other road issues in the region.

The report is an annual review of CDOT activities in the sprawling Region 3 that includes Delta County and 14 other counties, and that is the largest CDOT region in the state. The region includes over 5,000 lane miles of state highway, according to the CDOT report.

While vehicle passage across the SH 50 grade crossing at Delta has been greatly improved, the railroad's construction contractors on the project raised the grade level by nine inches, more than the two-inch increase that road planners had expected.

The more abrupt rise and fall when traveling across the tracks is probably felt more by vehicles pulling trailers, like semis, than by passenger vehicles.

The additional and unexpected increase in height also created drainage problems. A temporary fix has been applied to the drainage problem, but more work is needed, commissioners were told.

"We realize we've got some things to clean up," Dave Eller, transportation director, told the commissioners.

CDOT reported that it spent $884,083 on maintenance operations in the county during its last fiscal year. Snow and ice removal took the largest share of that amount at $329,440, followed by road surface work costing $274,625.

The CDOT report included Delta County projects included in its Regional Priority Program. On the list is preliminary engineering on the SH 92 corridor across Rogers Mesa. CDOT has allocated $1.5 million to that engineering work with an estimated project date of 2025.

The SH 92 corridor across Rogers Mesa was called "a tough design section" by the CDOT engineers.

Also included on the regional priority list are improvements at SH 92 and 65 intersections with SH 50, and also work on SH 133 from Hotchkiss to Paonia.

There is design funding money of $200,000 allocated for SH 133 intersection improvements at Samuel Wade Road and Stevens Gulch Road at Paonia.

On the Stengel's Hill overpass project, top mat asphalt paving is scheduled for 2016, according to the CDOT report.

CDOT revenue for fiscal year 2015-16 (the state's fiscal year begins in July) shows all money from various sources at $1.37 billion, up from last year with the aid of the Senate Bill 228 general fund transfer of $102 million.

The proposed project list presented for those SB 228 funds doesn't include any work in Delta County. Nine of the 12 projects which are proposed are in the intermountain region including the counties of Eagle, Summit, Garfield and Pitkin. The only one of the SB 228 proposed projects in the local transportation region is a $15 million passing lane improvement north of Ridgway.

The road building agency's goals for the 2015 fiscal year in Delta County were new sidewalks at the railroad crossing; replacement of three culverts on SH 348; building shoulders on SH 92 at mileposts 16 to 18 and 33 to 35; brush and tree clearing on SH 92 from Delta to Hotchkiss segment; and continuing to partner with Delta County weed sprayers on targeting noxious weeds.