Piedra Road open, project to resume in spring


Staff Writer

While reconstruction is not yet complete, Piedra Road is fully open to the public for the winter.

Friday morning, Archuleta County Public Works Director Ken Feyen announced that Skanska’s construction operations are stopped for the winter and will pick up again in the spring when weather allows.

Of the project’s 3.2 miles, about two miles of the road has a base coarse of asphalt, and an additional two-inch finish course will be laid on that portion next spring when the rest of the project is completed, Feyen explained.

In addition to the finish course on that portion of the road, several other pieces of the road reconstruction remain.

Feyen said about 1.2 miles of the road remains to be milled, reconstituted and laid down prior to receiving asphalt.

Once the remaining asphalt work is done, Skanska will install about 1,200 lineal feet of guard rail, Feyen added.

Tie-ins from Piedra Road to side streets have also not been completed, Feyen said, meaning those areas will likely become muddy.

Most of the culvert extension work was completed before the shutdown, Feyen said, as well as about 75 to 80 percent of the work to widen shoulders along the work route.

In order for work to resume in the spring, Feyen said daytime temperatures need to be consistently at 45 degrees or above, with temperatures consistently at 50 degrees and above in order to lay the finish coarse of asphalt.

In conjunction with the construction, Feyen cautioned that the speed limit on a portion of the road has been permanently adjusted from 40 mph to 35 mph.

Funding for the reconstruction is coming from a $3.5 million grant from Public Lands Highway (PLH) discretionary funding by the Federal Highway Administration, with the Colorado Department of Transportation administering the grant.

The contract with Skanska called for paving operations to be completed by Oct. 24 of this year, but several delays, including multiple weather delays, pushed the project beyond that timeline.

The county received that grant in August 2012, also pledging $500,000 from county coffers to reconstruct the 3.2-mile portion of Piedra Road, making for a total of $4 million for the project.

Unspent grant funding for the project will be carried over into the 2014 Archuleta County budget to allow for the remainder of the construction, Feyen said.

The project’s winter hiatus is not expected to affect project costs to Archuleta County.