Officials celebrate County Road 57 project completion
Moffat County Road and Bridge employees were told they had the rest of the afternoon off at about 2:30 p.m. Monday.
The gesture came at the conclusion of a ribbon-cutting ceremony recognizing the department and other entities for the completion of the three-year County Road 57 project.
The last bit of asphalt, which was laid on 23 miles of the county road connecting Maybell and Meeker, was put down that afternoon.
“We’ll be glad to get back to maintenance,” said Billy Mack, director of the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department, at the conclusion of the ceremony.
The project was funded through a combination of grants and matching county tax dollars.
The county obtained a $1.8 million grant, which was paid to the county in three yearly increments of $600,000.
A total of $2.4 million county dollars were used to fund the project.
Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson said the $4.2 million price tag was significantly less than what the cost could have been if outside contractors had been hired to do the entire project.
Dickinson said if the county Road and Bridge Department had not undertaken a majority of the work, the cost could have been more than $8 million.
Despite the workload put on the department, 19 local contractors and nine contractors from outside the community were still hired.
Several of those entities gathered with employees of the Road and Bridge Department to recognize the completion of the project Monday.
Dickinson said the county first decided to pursue the project during capital improvement discussions.
The road was deteriorating and needed upgrades, he said.
The reason the county was able to obtain an energy impact grant, Dickinson said, is because of the heavy truck traffic on County Road 57 hauling loads to and from the oil fields near Rangely.
A press release from Applegate Group, Inc., the planning agency that coordinated the project, said that drivers can expect fewer fallen rocks and loose livestock on the road, and less mud and snow blockage of the newly widened drainage ditches.
Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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