Workers labor to finish Highway 9 paving project north of Silverthorne
SUMMIT COUNTY – Road workers will continue paving about 2.5 miles of a 6-mile stretch construction project north of Silverthorne on Highway 9.
That should take some of the pain out of driving through the area, which has been under construction since last fall.
Conditions through the site garnered plenty of complaints earlier this spring, but project engineer Mike Voxakis said those grievances have eased as the summer has continued. It’s not without effort on the contractor’s behalf.
“This is a tough job to build in the sense that there’s nowhere to put detours,” said Voxakis, who works for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). “They’re blading the road at least once or twice a day.”
Voxakis oversees the contractor, PCL, that CDOT hired for the project. That means CDOT has a huge stake in the work.
CDOT engineer Brian Pinkerton drove through the site after a recent heavy rainstorm.
“It was in pretty bad shape,” he admitted, “unusually bad shape because of the rain. I think we did all we could under those circumstances, but it’s an issue we’ve got to be real sensitive to to keep that as accessible as possible until we get the asphalt down. It was good I could experience the situation from the driver’s perspective.”
After the storm, Pinkerton said he spoke with members of the engineering team.
“Our team is doing as much as possible to keep it in good shape,” he said. “We’re trying as much as we can to keep it graded, keep the dust down, and be as diligent as we can possibly be. But we’re certainly not claiming it’s in perfect condition.
“We’re hoping with good progress that sometime in either September or October we’re going to have asphalt down. I know that we’re asking people to suffer some short-term pain for long-term gain.”
The majority of the project will be completed by fall, but construction continues in 2003.
Work will resume again in the spring before coming to a scheduled Nov. 1, 2003 finish.
Voxakis said Pinkerton drove through the area after what was “probably the heaviest rainstorm we’ve gotten all year long.”
“The governor drove through a week ago Friday, and we got no complaints from his office,” Voxakis said. “And that’s about as high as it gets.”
Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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