Colorado Progressing on Stimulus-Funded Projects

Thu July 30, 2009 - West Edition
Rebecca Ragain

The SH 62 project also includes guardrail improvements — some replacement and some new sections — which are 80 percent complete.
The SH 62 project also includes guardrail improvements — some replacement and some new sections — which are 80 percent complete.



Less than five months after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act February 17, the first of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s ARRA-funded projects to break ground was complete. It was a contract to resurface 1 mi. (1.6 km) of SH 88. All but $11,000 of the $676,523 project, awarded to Aggregate Industries, was financed from CDOT’s pool of approximately $330 million in ARRA-related, federal highway funds.

CDOT’s second ARRA-funded highway project broke ground May 19, just one day after the SH 88 project began. As of July 1, the second project was approximately 20 percent complete.

The second, larger project consists of milling, resurfacing and shoulder work on 21.5 mi. (34.6 km) of SH 62, from Ridgway to east of Placerville. Penrose, Colo.-based contractor APC Southern Construction is laying two lifts of asphalt: a 1-in. (2.5 cm) leveling layer and a 2-in. (5 cm) overlay.

“We’re probably 30 percent [finished] on the one-inch leveling,” estimated CDOT resident engineer Ed Archuleta.

The SH 62 project also includes guardrail improvements — some replacement and some new sections — which are 80 percent complete. Another safety improvement is the correction, through detailed milling, of a super-elevation on a curve near milepost 13.

In addition, crews are using geogrid reinforcement — three layers of Tensar BX1200, about 30 in. (76.2 cm) deep — to repair four sections of failed embankment.

Also wrapped into the project is improvement, through the addition of acceleration/deceleration lanes, to the intersection of U.S. 550 and a county road north of Ridgway. That portion of the project has already been completed.

The SH 62 project is on schedule for completion in October. The only challenge to date is the summer rainstorms that hit the mountainous location many afternoons and shut down paving operations. But the storms come as no surprise to APC Southern Construction, which has worked on other CDOT projects in the area.

“They do very good work,” said Archuleta, speaking specifically about a recent project near the Four Corners area on which APC Southern Construction was a subcontractor.

For the SH 62 project, APC Southern Construction was the low bidder at $6.9 million. The project’s total cost is $11.7 million, $4 million of which comes from ARRA funds.

According to Archuleta, the fact that the project was funded by ARRA made little impact on the way it was handled, with the exception of some different reporting requirements. He said: “We had the plan set anyway; it was shovel ready. We just coordinated it with the stimulus package.”

A combination of ARRA funding and bid savings did allow CDOT to increase the miles paved during the project by approximately 12 mi. (19.3 km).

The work was much needed on SH 62, which is a main route leading to Telluride.

“This road was in dire need of resurfacing,” said Archuleta. “It’s a road that maintenance has been patching for years.” CEG