By Terri House
A Piedra Road resurfacing project is scheduled to begin in May, according to Acting Public Affairs Specialist Lorena Williams with the San Juan National Forest.
“A tentative start date will be scheduled for some time this May, weather dependent. The contractor hired for the work will have up to 30 days to complete all work,” wrote Williams in a March 17 email to The SUN.
“The intent of the Piedra Road Resurfacing project is to provide aggregate to and reconstruct 11.6 miles of the Piedra Road (NFSR 631). The project will begin at the intersection with Jack’s Pasture at milepost 8.13 and will terminate at the Williams Creek Road (NFSR 640) at milepost 22,” she wrote. “Work includes reshaping the roadbed by reestablishing ditches and pulling the road width back in to a standard 22’ width. Once the roadbed is prepared, commercially purchased aggregate consisting of CDOT Class 6 1”-minus roadbase material will be hauled, placed, and compacted to a 4” depth and a 22’ width.”
Williams noted that Piedra Road will remain open to public traffic during this contract.
Earlier this month, the USDA Forest Service announced the investment of $285 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects in 2021 with approximately $31.5 million will go to the Rocky Mountain Region to fund 90 projects, including the Piedra Road resurfacing project.
“This is a five-year program and similar dollar amounts are expected over the next five years. This significant influx of funding will be used to address infrastructure and deferred maintenance needs, enhance economic benefits, and improve recreation and public access on national forests by leveraging National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Funds provided by Congress,” states a press release from the agency.
The funds will be used to modernize recreation facilities, improve roadways, upgrade campgrounds, design and build new trails or rehabilitate existing trails, repair water systems, and update toilets.
“The Legacy Restoration Funds will allow us to address a backlog of maintenance projects across the region,” said Tammy Angel, acting regional forester. “We are thrilled to be moving forward with much needed improvements to transportation infrastructure and recreation facilities and we are committed to accomplishing all of the funded projects.”
The release notes that this year’s $31.5 million investment is made possible by the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act. These funds will allow the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region to implement more than 90 infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests lands.
“The projects will also serve as a catalyst for economic development and employment opportunities in rural communities. These new investments will strengthen shared stewardship of national forests and grasslands by expanding the Forest Service work with public and private partners,” states the release.
For more information on these projects in the Rocky Mountain Region, visit the Rocky Mountain Region GAOA website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r2/home/?cid=fseprd853127.