County continues work on CR 975

Crews continue to prepare County Road (CR) 975 for paving and other improvements, and if the weather holds, area residents may soon be driving on one mile of fresh asphalt.

Archuleta County Special Projects Manager Karin Kohake said crews began work Oct. 15, and have about one third of a mile ready for gravel in preparation for paving.

Kohake said the target is to have one mile of the road — from Colo. 151 to County Road 977 — paved before winter sets in; however, Kohake added that paving is contingent on weather. At the minimum, Kohake said crews should have gravel down and can pave in the spring if weather curtails paving this fall.

The road is currently closed to through traffic.

In addition to paving one mile of CR 975, the project entails widening the road from 17 feet to 24 feet with two-foot shoulders and improving drainage on about three miles of the road.

Kohake said the original intent was to pave three miles of the roadway, and to that end, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) awarded the county a $500,000 grant in May 2006 to undertake the project. For various reasons, including the county’s financial meltdown in 2007, the project was delayed and when bids finally came in this summer, Kohake said they were much higher than expected and the county was forced to reduce the scope of work to paving just one mile. With the reduction in paving, Kohake said DOLA funding was reduced to $200,000.

According to the contract, the project cost is tallied at $931,575.

County Road 975 provides access to only a handful of Archuleta County homes, but serves as a primary access route for oil and gas company trucks seeking facilities and resources in southern Archuleta County and northern New Mexico.

james@pagosasun.com