U.S. Highway 34 tree removal project near Grand Lake gets under way Monday | SkyHiNews.com

U.S. Highway 34 tree removal project near Grand Lake gets under way Monday

GRAND COUNTY ” Colorado Department of Transportation contractor McGowan Enterprises will begin work on the U.S. Highway 34 tree removal project on Monday, Jan. 21.

Because this project (to remove select lodge pole pine trees within the right of way) is a unique one, impacts to traffic and adjacent properties will continue to be assessed and addressed throughout the project, which is scheduled for 30 working days.

With weather a possible factor, the work may be complete by mid-March. As work progresses and impacts to traffic and the community are more evident, additional announcements will be made.

The work zone is between milepost 5.50 (near Grand County Road 6) and milepost 15.01, the Rocky Mountain National Park boundary. Impacts to travel on Highway 34 will include periodic lane closures with flaggers and a pilot car to escort vehicles through the work zone. These closures may not exceed 20 minutes, according to the contract, and are only anticipated when crews are loading and hauling away cut trees.

Hours of operation will be daylight hours ” approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. ” Monday through Thursday, and until noon on Fridays. Crews will make a special effort to work with traffic flows and to limit lane closures approaching the Feb. 1-3 Three Lakes ice fishing contest and subsequent events.

The work involves removing lodge pole pine trees within the highway right of way. All pines greater than 4 inches in diameter will be removed. Stumps will remain; however, all logs and slash will become the property of the contractor and will be removed from the project.

The primary purpose and need for the work is to improve Highway 34 as an evacuation corridor in the event of a fire. The tree-removal project also will reduce the chances that a fire can be set by passing traffic, and it will improve the corridor as a potential fire break.

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