Grand County commissioners discuss Thompson Road, other improvements needed on U.S. 40 |

Grand County commissioners discuss Thompson Road, other improvements needed on U.S. 40

Damage to Thompson Road in July 2022. Kroger, the town of Granby, and Grand Elk General Improvement District have agreed to each fund the road's improvements. On March 14, county commissioners agreed to also contribute $100,000 towards the improvement project.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News archive

Confusion over who really owns Thompson Road has dogged construction improvements since 2021. The roughly quarter-mile portion of road between the stoplight at U.S. Highway 40 and the back of City Market has been heavily degraded, pitted with huge potholes.   

“It’s really bad clay soils underneath (the pavement). I’ve gone out there and been able to pick chunks up out of it and see dirt underneath it,” said Granby Town Manager Ted Cherry. “It seems as though in the early 2000s that we allowed people to just put asphalt on top of dirt.”

Cherry was speaking to county commissioners during their March 14 board meeting. Cherry explained that the town is eager to move forward with repairs. The Grand Elk subdivision (located behind City Market) and Kroger, the parent company of City Market, have been slow to come to agreements over who pays for the road repairs. There’s also been questions if the town of Granby owns it.

“I can say with 100% certainty that all of the agreements that are in place say that the town does not control the ownership of this,” said Cherry. “The town is willing to put a significant chunk of change into this project to ensure that it gets done, even though that we know that we don’t have the ownership of it, but we’re trying to do the right thing.”

After long talks, Grand Elk, Kroger and the town decided that each entity will pitch in for repairs. The Grand Elk subdivision will pay for repairs through the Grand Elk General Improvement District. The town will pay $654,000, Kroger will pay $654,000 and the improvement district will pay $500,000. However, this still doesn’t meet the $1.9 million needed to complete the repair project.

According to Cherry, the town initially planned for the project to cost around $1.5 million. But bids came in nearly $500,000 more than they expected. Cherry asked the commissioners if the county would be willing to contribute $100,000 to fixing the road.

Although the county doesn’t own any portion of Thompson Road, County Road 56 is accessed through Thompson Road. According to a traffic count, 8.2% of traffic on Thompson continues onto County Road 56.

For this reason, the commissioners voted to “authorize the expenditure of $100,000 for the Thompson Road pavement project, as requested, with the understanding that the county does not have any ownership in this stretch of road,” said Commissioner Randy George. “But we are participating in this because of the benefit to county residents who access through County Road 56.”

The commissioners added to their motion that the Grand Elk General Improvement District should ensure that any future repairs of the road are handled by them. This way, the county or Kroger won’t need to contribute financially, or be embroiled in questions over the road’s ownership.

Other March 14 meeting business

George discussed the improvements needed on U.S. 40. With spring’s freeze/thaw cycle, cracks and potholes scar many parts of the highway, as construction crews wait to fix them once temperatures are warmer.

“We need to make sure that we patch, but we also need to make sure that we have an overall serious maintenance effort to hold U.S. 40 from further degradation,” said George, speaking with Colorado Department of Transportation Region 3 East Program Engineer Karen Berdoulay. “Especially when we have a closure at Vail Pass or we have a closure in Glenwood, the truck traffic is just beating this highway up.”

If residents see problem potholes on highways 40, 34, 125 and 9, Grand County government encourages them to contact CDOT Region 3 at 970-243-2368. Report problem potholes on county roads (that aren’t managed by a municipal district) to Grand County Road & Bridge at 970-887-2123.

Several potholes line U.S. Highway 40 in Granby in Spring 2023.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News
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