County Road 57 almost complete |

County Road 57 almost complete

Josh Nichols

One of the biggest projects ever undertaken by the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department is nearly finished, county officials say.

The paving of 23 miles of County Road 57, which runs between Maybell and Meeker, is expected to be completed sometime in late October or early November, said Billy Mack, interim director of the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department.

The project, which was undertaken nearly four years ago, filled in a 12-mile stretch of road with concrete that had been gravel.

It also replaces a portion of the road that had been paved with new concrete.

“We were having problems maintaining the road and the asphalt was starting to deteriorate,” Mack said. “It was a road that needed improvement and the commissioners decided it was time to upgrade.”

The old asphalt on the paved portions of the road was used for base, and a 4-inch layer of asphalt was run the entire length of the road in Moffat County.

Funding for the $5 million project came out of reserve funds, Mack said, with some of the money coming from an Energy Impact Grant.

The asphalt work should be completed by the second week in October, Mack said, and then crews will start working on the shoulders of the road, which will take about three weeks.

Mack said the road gets heavy truck traffic and a high amount of traffic going back and forth to the oil fields near Rangely.

According to Applegate Group, Inc., the planning group from Westminster brought into to coordinate the project, crews had to move 60,000 cubic yards of dirt and rock to improve visibility along the road. That is equivalent to about 5,000 dump truck loads of dirt, or enough to cover a football field to the height of a three story building, a statement released by the company said.

In addition to the dirt that had to be moved to improve the road’s surroundings, another 100,000 cubic yards of gravel and asphalt paving materials had to be brought in for the paving project itself enough to cover five stories on another football field.

In a press release, Applegate Group, Inc. said drivers can expect fewer fallen rocks and loose livestock on the road, and less mud and snow blockage of the newly widened drainage ditches.

The road’s shoulders were also widened and cleared of overgrown vegetation to further improve visibility and safety.

Public Works Director Rich Anderson said county road crews have been stretched thin, concentrating on the County Road 57 project, and said a ribbon cutting ceremony will likely be held sometime in November to acknowledge successful completion of the project.

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