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Dillon Valley road should be open by Thanksgiving

DREW ANDERSEN
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Drew Andersen
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DILLON – Construction resumed this week on the retaining wall above Little Beaver Trail in Dillon Valley, and the Town of Dillon is hoping to have the road open to the public by Thanksgiving.

The faulty wall below Walgreens collapsed in May, inundating Little Beaver Trail with debris and closing one of only two entrances to Dillon Valley – a major residential area between Silverthorne and Dillon that’s in unincorporated Summit County.

The road is a right-of-way for the Town of Dillon, and Town Manager Devin Granbery said the town cannot re-open Little Beaver Trail until the slope above is secured.

The slope and adjoining property above are owned by St. Louis-based Pace Development, which leases the property to Walgreens for its retail store on Dillon Ridge Road. Pace Properties vice president Steve Heitz said negotiations between his company, Walgreens and the various contractors and subcontractors who contributed to the project were ongoing with respect to financial responsibility for the repairs, but the negotiations were not causing delays to the project.

“It’s a complicated situation involving a lot of different parties,” Heitz said. “But I know that it’s taken a lot of time to figure out what’s causing the problem up there and what needed to be done to stabilize it.”

Walgreens has contracted Denver-based geotechnical construction firm Haywood Baker to install rock anchors in an effort to stabilize the slope for the winter months. According to Haywood Baker superintendent Bob Hollinger, the process will take three to four weeks. He said his company had only been contracted to stabilize the slope and wall above Little Beaver Trail – not to work on reopening the road itself.

Granbery said the town has been in discussions with Walgreens about a temporary solution that could open the road to one-way traffic, but a permanent fix will be contingent on Walgreens’ plans to permanently stabilize the slope next year. Emergency vehicles are able to access Dillon Valley via Little Beaver Trail, but the road remains closed to all other traffic.

“Our number-one concern is public safety,” Granbery said. “And right now emergency vehicles can access Dillon Valley through Little Beaver Trail, and that has been a priority for us.”

The town has already spent $200,000 repairing the burst water main that caused the collapse and is spending about $200 per day to monitor the accident site to ensure emergency vehicles still have access.

Residents of Dillon Valley are frustrated with the lack of progress in the five months since the incident occurred. Longtime resident Susan Fiske said the traffic at the only other entrance to Dillon Valley – at the intersection of Highway 6 and Lake Dillon Drive – has increased significantly since Little Beaver Trail’s closure.

“It is frustrating how much the traffic backs up at 5 p.m. on the hill (on Highway 6) before the light,” Fiske said. “It was much more convenient for us to be able to get off Interstate 70 and hop on Little Beaver Trail.”


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