Detour through Elkhead will begin next month

Moffat County Road 28 was supposed to close last spring for the Elkhead Reservoir expansion project.

But heavy snows meant crews couldn't open the detour on Routt County Road 78, forcing them to keep C.R. 28 open through the summer.

Officials hope to have C.R. 28 closed and the detour open by early next month.

The Colorado River Water Conservation District, which is heading up the Elkhead expansion project, held a public meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the project's progress.

About 30 people attended the meeting at the Holiday Inn in Craig.

Project Manager Ray Tenney said informing people about the road closure and detour was the primary reason for Tuesday's meeting.

The 1.2-mile stretch of C.R. 78 -- which was submerged before Elkhead was partially drained for construction -- meets up with Moffat County Road 29 west of Elkhead.

The speed limit on the two-lane gravel road will be 15 mph.

"Hopefully, folks will use it and respect the speed," Tenney said.

Moffat County Road and Bridge Director Bill Mack said crews from Routt and Moffat counties will plow the road this winter. The road is in both counties.

Some residents at Tuesday's meeting expressed concerns about the effect the detour would have on emergency responders.

Delayne Vollstedt lives in Routt County, just past the Moffat County line, but emergency responders from Craig are usually the first to reach her neighborhood in an emergency.

Vollstedt is "all for" the expansion project, but with a lot of seniors and children in her neighborhood, she worries about the effect a detour through the reservoir will have.

"We're going to have to deal with what they give us," Vollstedt said.

Tenney said he understands the concerns but that there was no way to keep C.R. 28 open during construction. The dam, which the road goes over, will be enlarged by 25 feet.

"There's just no way to have a road across the dam," Tenney said.

But, Tenney said, despite the detour's slow speed limit, it will be much faster than if the reservoir was closed and crews had to go through Hayden to get to homes near Elkhead.


Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com

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