Summer road work makes its way down Highway 40, from Granby to Berthoud Pass
Summer maintenance workers from Colorado’s Department of Transportation are busy wrapping up mill and fill projects in Grand County, traversing U.S. Highway 40 from Granby to Berthoud Pass.
For the past two weeks, road crews have been milling old asphalt from U.S. Highway 40 between Granby and Fraser. The milling work, where they grind up the top surface of the road, is expected to continue for the rest of this week with additional repair points selected in the town of Fraser and on Berthoud Pass. Once completed, CDOT crews will spend the next several weeks, extending into September, refilling the milled sections of highway with new asphalt.
Andy Hugley, CDOT’s road supervisor for the east end of Grand County, has been overseeing the work. Hugley said CDOT refers to the annual summer maintenance projects as “mill and fill” work.
Local crews conducting mill and fill work began the process in early July in North Park before moving into Grand County. Last week workers completed milling work in the Kremmling area before moving east to work in Granby. Mill work was completed on both sides of Highway 40 from the railroad overpass to a location near Carquest Auto Parts.
Workers were milling asphalt near the entrance to City Market in Granby on Monday morning and moved towards Red Dirt Hill by Monday afternoon. Hugley said he expects work crews to be milling in Fraser by Wednesday and to wrap up the week with milling work on Berthoud Pass.
Each mill and fill segment tackled by CDOT workers costs roughly $50,000 to $100,000. According to Hugley, the cost of the maintenance work for both Jackson and Grand County’s comes out to around $1 million. Hugley noted local maintenance crews have received a summer mill and fill work budget of around $1 million for the last four to five years.
In total Hugley said he expects to lay down roughly 6,000 tons of new asphalt between both Grand and Jackson counties. The repaving work should be completed by mid-September, according to Hugley, though he cautioned that an exact timeline regarding completion would be heavily dependent upon weather conditions.
Local officials like Hugley determine the specific segments of highway that are repaired through the mill and fill work. Numerous factors go into the decision making process regarding which segments will be repaired, including whether or not CDOT engineers are planning any large projects in the area in coming years.
“We look at the road surface itself,” Hugley said. “We look for cracking, alligator cracking, potholes, wheel ruts. We look at the overall condition of the asphalt itself.”
While Hugley said the impact the work has on highway traffic is a challenge, he noted that safety for CDOT crews is not a place where corners could be cut.
“We just have to do what we have to do,” he said. “If it takes eight flagmen, I have to put them there. I can’t cut corners for the safety of the guys.”
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Grand County voters will be deciding on a number of issues this November from tax increases to school board memberships. Ballots were mailed out last week and Election Day is Nov. 2.