Trough Road to get guardrail following slide-off that claimed life of Kremmling man |

Trough Road to get guardrail following slide-off that claimed life of Kremmling man

At the scene of the fatal wreck on Trough Road in January that claimed the lives of Toby Hargadine and Crysta Berntsen.
Sky-Hi file photo

Five months after the tragic slide-off on Trough Road that killed two people, Grand County is investing in safety measures on the portion of the road where the incident occurred.

In January, Kremmling resident Toby Hargadine and his companion, Crysta Berntsen, died when their vehicle slid off Trough Road near milepost nine where no guardrail exists and rolled several times down a steep embankment.

The incident raised questions in the community about why that portion of Trough Road, also known as County Road 1, didn’t have a guardrail or barrier while the majority of that road, from Inspiration Point to a location further west closer to the valley floor, has safety barriers.

However, Grand County Road and Bridge Superintendent Chris Baer said the lack of guardrail will be rectified this year, as the county is currently receiving proposals to install around 730 feet of guardrail on Trough Road.

“(The project) is for the safety of the traveling public, not just the locals, but the people who come to visit,” he said. “It’s our families and friends that are on these roads and that’s why we do what we do.”

While the county has not chosen a contractor, Baer estimates the project will cost around $50,000.

“That’s to do the 420 feet gap where the vehicle went off and then the commissioners added an additional 315 feet coming down Inspiration to the corner,” he said. “ Ultimately, I’d like to see it done by October 1.”

A traffic count conducted earlier this year showed that an average of roughly 355 people travel Trough Road every day, with the majority of drivers going 46 to 50 mph. Accident history reports from the Colorado State Patrol show that from 2012 to 2017 15 crashes occurred on Trough Road between mileposts eight and 11.

According to Baer, there’s no specific reason for the lack of safety measures at that point on Trough Road. Baer and his staff also extensively reviewed the location and determined to the best of their abilities that no guardrail had ever been installed there.

Road and bridge also continues to have conversations with the Board of County Commissioners about installing additional signage on Trough Road, especially prior to the area where Hargadine and Berntsen’s slide-off occurred.

“That will be something that we look at across all of County Road 1 will be improving the signage,” he said.

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