Tree removal project along Berthoud Pass will occur this summer |

Tree removal project along Berthoud Pass will occur this summer

Tonya Bina

A major tree-removal project along Berthoud Pass will be taking place this summer, with a contract slated to be awarded by the end of this month.

About 52 acres of U.S. Forest property along the 22-mile stretch of highway from Empire to Winter Park is one of three beetle-kill damaged areas the Colorado Department of Transportation has designated for tree removal in a first phase of projects, according to Bob Wilson, CDOT spokesperson.

In the Department’s tree-removal efforts along highways this summer are about 80 acres along Colorado State Highway 125 and “sporadic locations” of about 30 acres along Interstate 70, as well as the Berthoud Pass stretch. The three areas amount to roughly $1 million of work, Wilson said, of which CDOT is footing the bill. Another $1 million of tree work is slated for a future second phase in other locations.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is the lead on the tree-removal work for making possible fire escape routes safer by clearing out high fuel sources.

According to Wilson, during this summer’s tree work, delays on Berthoud Pass should be “minimal,” limited to “occasional traffic stops to get work trucks out of the cut areas.”

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