Shadow Mountain project mishaps in Craig not a cost to taxpayers | CraigDailyPress.com

Shadow Mountain project mishaps in Craig not a cost to taxpayers

Janelle O'Dea

Shadow Mountain resident Patricia Murphy said the neighborhood's improvement project has been a "nightmare" for residents, and she sometimes wishes the process never started.

Murphy said she's seen a sidewalk paved and torn up three different times during the project's first phase.

"Someone's going to have to absorb all of that cost, and I imagine it’s the county," Murphy said.

Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers said the county is not absorbing the cost, but the concrete company and other contractors involved in the project are responsible.

"Mike Anson's company laid the concrete, and it didn’t come out to specs," Mathers said. "It wasn’t flat or to the strength it needed to be, so they did it again until they could get their machine dialed in to where it worked perfect. It’s going to cost taxpayers no additional money. Anson absorbs the cost."

But Murphy said the concrete paving and re-paving hasn't been the only issue with Shadow Mountain's improvement project.

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She said one day when she was in the middle of a load of laundry, the water was shut off and caused her to spend $135 on a new valve for her washer. She also couldn't shower before going to work that day.

"Luckily, I keep backup water," Murphy said. "When you have to get in the shower to go to work and you don't know your water is shut off, it's insulting."

Aside from issues residents have had, Mathers said, "anything that could go wrong has gone wrong" with the project. The project was initially supposed to take three years to complete, but it's now a four-year undertaking.

Heavy rains along with unexpected discoveries are examples of what has slowed crews down.

"We started with the horseshoe part of the project and instantly we encountered a water problem," Mathers said. "We had to go deeper and by doing that we got into some groundwater that was unstoppable and we just couldn’t do anything with it. It was like an underground river."

Currently, crews are laying the curb and gutter concrete, which is only one part of the project's Phase 1. Other parts of Phase 1 include building new water and sewer lines and connecting those lines to houses, among other things.

Ground broke on the $6.3 million project in June, and improvements include replacing the roads, sidewalks and the sewer system.

The subdivision was built in 1972 to house coal mine workers on the west side of Craig. It’s been running on an out-of-date water sewer system for several years, and the roads also are in need of major repairs, so the city and county decided to fix the sewer system and road in one combined project.

The crews are still working through Phase 1 of the project, and Mathers said everyone involved hopes they can catch up and finish phases one and two by next year to get back on the project's original schedule.

Director of Moffat County Development Services Roy Tipton said crews should begin paving on Aspen Avenue south of Ninth Street next week and hope to have all concrete and paving done by the end of October.

Tipton also said they've applied for $1.67 million in additional funds from the Department of Local Affairs and won't hear back about the results of that application until early December.

"It's probably going to get done in a week or two," Murphy said about the paving part of the project. "But I've been hearing that all summer."

Contact Janelle O'Dea at 970-875-1795 or jodea@CraigDailyPress.com.