South Broadway concrete project delays Cortez street reclamation

The Full Depth Reclamation Project for Cortez city streets that was scheduled for this year will have to be postponed, because funds are tied up in resurfacing South Broadway.

The reclamation project, approved by council members in October 2011, was intended to resurface dirt roads within city limits.

In place of the FDR project, Colorado Department of Transportation has required that the City of Cortez participate in a portion of the cost for the Highway 160/491, South Broadway, Concrete Resurfacing Project that will begin next month, according to Jack Nickerson, Cortez public works director.

The city of Cortez negotiated with CDOT to finance $85,000 of the concrete resurfacing project. CDOT will finance the remainder of the $4.8 million contracted amount for the project, according to Nickerson.

“This has been a battle for us,” Nickerson said of the unexpected financial burden the project presented.

The resurfacing project, however, brings much-needed maintenance to local throughways, Nickerson said.

CDOT will begin reconstruction on US 160/South Broadway later this month along a 1.1-mile stretch between County Road G and Main Street.

The reconstruction project that was awarded to Lawson Construction for $4.8 million earlier this month, will resurface 50 highway miles.

Existing asphalt will be replaced with concrete. The project also includes improvements to storm drainage and traffic signalization changes at the Main Street interchange.

CDOT and Lawson Construction will host a public meeting on June 28 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cortez Recreation Center, 425 Roger Smith Avenue, to provide project details to the public and stakeholders.

The public will have a chance to meet the project team, find out about the improvements, schedule, construction phasing and traffic management.

“The project is designed to extend the life of the highway 30 years,” CDOT public relations director, Nancy Shanks, said.

“Given the poor sub-grade soils and numerous utilities beneath the existing asphalt surface, concrete reconstruction was determined to be the best solution for this stretch of highway,” CDOT Resident Engineer Mike Coggins said. “When the project is complete, roadway maintenance on this stretch will be minimal and motorists will travel through this area without roadwork impacts for many years.”

The CDOT resurfacing project will begin July 1 and will enter completion by Dec. 15, 2012, Nickerson said.

The now-postponed Full Depth Reclamation Project is expected to resume during the summer of 2015.

Under the Full Depth Reclamation project, the City will “grind up the dirt roads and gravel and cement will be added and the roads will then be graded and compacted and covered with a chip seal,” Nickerson said.

“Hopefully the paved streets will help reduce some of the maintenance costs,” he added.

The project is intended to upgrade streets within city limits while using a “greener method by recycling what infrastructure the city already has in place,” Nickerson said.

Reach Paige Blankenbuehler at