By Rick Langenberg:
Pending any major fires, floods and disasters, Teller rural residents can expect a summer of considerable road maintenance along with a few signature paving projects. And if homeowners want additional assistance with dust control along their driveways or private/ neighborhood roads, Teller crews can do the work for them or their association for a price.
These are some of the highlights of the 2014 road improvement and maintenance plan, approved by the Teller County commissioners. Once again, the commissioners, in a recent meeting, gave the transportation department plenty of kudos for their work in grappling with 563 miles of roadways, the vast majority of which consists of gravel thoroughfares. Some of these consist of rough, bumpy and dusty surfaces that may rival roads in a war zone. “Your department continues to impress us,” said Commission Vice-Chairman Norm Steen. Similar sentiments were echoed by the other commissioners.
Brad Shaw, operations supervisor of the agency, maintained the main emphasis this year will consist of routine maintenance, highlighted by consistent road grading along defined routes, dust control, culvert installation and repairs, hard surface patching and pothole work. Shaw reiterated that the success of the agency’s past efforts hinges on sticking to six mandated grading routes throughout the unincorporated parts of Teller, with a schedule that is only interrupted by emergencies.“Hopefully, we won’t be fighting fires this year,” said Shaw in describing one possible hurdle he sees jolting the agency’s maintenance schedule “We have to react to the weather. We have to change with it,” he added..
For the most part, Shaw outlined an improvement plan similar to previous years. Shaw told the commissioners that they have made some slight adjustments in the hard surfacing of gravel roads and in doing dust suppression work to allow for more efficiency. For example, much of the county’s dust suppression work, which addresses 30 miles of roadway, will be performed around the same time. And more paving jobs will be contracted out.
The highlights of the plan include:
*Regular grading of six major routes, consisting of 37 miles each throughout Teller with the same designated crew for these assigned roadways.
*Resurfacing of 4.4 miles of gravel roadways for maintenance enhancement or preparation for future paving. Roads identified for this work include parts of Teller roads 82, 86, 861, 3, 31 and 46, along with Ranch Resorts Drive, Indian Creek Road, Pikes Peak Drive and Wilson Drive.
*Applying dust suppression material along 30 miles of roadways, targeting thoroughfares that receive daily traffic counts of more than 300 cars a day. This effort will address sections of about 50 roads, with the longest stretch of anti-dust work occurring at Trail Creek Road, Teller 51, Teller 281, Teller 46, Spring Valley Road, Trout Haven Drive and North Mountain Estates. In addition, private property owners can contact the county about having dust suppression done in their neighborhoods, or on private roads, if they aren’t part of the targeted list. This added work, though, would come with a price. More homeowner, however, are using this service, according to Shaw.
*Addressing drainage issues, capped by dealing with 3,000 culverts and doing major projects at Summer Haven Drive, Jenwood Drive and Maroon Lake Circle.
*Dong maintenance overlays for parts of Teller roads 21, 25 and 42 and repairing a section of Teller 11 and four parts of Teller 25.
*Performing chip and seal paving of 2.1 miles of roadway with projects slated for North Mountain Estates Road (from Teller One to Pinewood) and Sunnywood Avenue (from Lovell Gulch to the city limits of Woodland Park). These roads qualify for this work because they are now reaching traffic counts that exceed 800 cars a day.
*Reconstructing parts of Teller One, Little Laura Lane and Teller 51.
*Continuing the same policies toward snow removal that has allowed crews to provide in and out snow service to all county maintained roads within 12 hours, following the end of a blizzard. The current plan allows the county a 24-hour window, but Shaw boasted during his presentation that the crews have bettered this mark in the past and are completing this snow removal within a 12 hour period. He attributes the improved winter track record to a 24/7 service policy during storms and efforts to address roads in local subdivisions in a quicker fashion.
*Addressing signs and bridge repair work, with three bridge deck overlays slated for parts of three main thoroughfares.
The commissioners didn’t find any holes in the annual plan and appeared more than satisfied with the agency’s commitment towards more road maintenance. With a decline in grant funds, the county hasn’t been able to do as many high-dollar capital projects.