Latest News – October 26

TTThat’s All Folks . . . . Until Spring for Paving Project!

Bad weather and declining temperatures have suspended the paving operations on Mountain View Drive until Spring. Photo: Leadville Today

Bad weather and declining temperatures have suspended the paving operations on Mountain View Drive until spring, according to SGM Engineering. Photo: Leadville Today

“Due to bad weather and declining temperatures it has been decided to suspend paving and some other work for the winter,” read last week’s press release from SGM, the engineering firm responsible for verifying that the Mountain View and Mt. Massive Drive road construction work is completed according to the project’s plans and specifications. “Mt. Massive Drive will get a temporary compacted surface of milled asphalt, and all intersections along Mountain View and Mt. Massive will be paved with hot mix. Concrete work will continue until complete.”

Over the next two weeks, ACA will pave with "hot mix" all intersections along Mountain View and Mt. Massive, many of which are now a muddy mess!

Over the next two weeks, ACA will pave with “hot mix” all intersections along Mountain View and Mt. Massive, many of which are now a muddy mess!

So that’s where things stand on a Monday morning, however, the multi-million dollar road construction project has experienced its share of challenges.

According to John Hollenbeck project manager for ACA out of Buena Vista, finding a reliable, local labor force was among them.

“You’d hire ten guys and have to let 5 of them go, because they weren’t who they said they were,” Hollenbeck stated to Leadville Today, insinuating that the laborers misrepresented their skill levels. “Or they couldn’t pass a drug test,” he concluded.  That fact, combined with other projects that ACA had going on, created a somewhat bumpy ride of stop and go activity on a project that now ends short of its contractual completion goal.

In addition, Lake County Road and Bridge has had to step in and help during several points in the project, or the construction wouldn’t have made it to this “stop-point.”

In fact, Lake County Commissioner Bruce Hix, who is the local contact point for the project (bhix@co.lake.co.us or 719-486-4100), posted on the Lake County Public Works Facebook Page:

Bruce Hix Many thanks to Brad Palmer and the Road & Bridge crew for pitching in and helping the contractor to get this job done before cold weather hits. Without the help of these hard working operators and drivers, the project would not be this far along. We appreciate the sacrifice of their weekends and long work hours. Good work guys! 

Over the next two weeks, according to ACA’s Hollenbeck, residents along Mtn. View Drive will see the concrete company fill in and smooth out the transitions to adjacent streets, and to a lesser degree, private driveways. However, the pavement striping for Mountain View Drive will not be completed this year. The project will resume work in the spring when conditions permit.Spac_50

A fresh line of snow an dice hover along the edge of Mountain View Drive where paving efforts have been suspended until spring. Duly filed under BEFORE winter at 10,200 feet!

A fresh line of snow and ice hover along the edge of Mountain View Drive where paving efforts have been suspended until spring. Duly filed under BEFORE winter at 10,200 ft!

Spac_50Where There’s Smoke . . . There’s a Prescribed Burn

While they can never pinpoint an exact date due to weather and fuel conditions, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), is planning a prescribed burn in Twin Lakes this Wednesday, Oct 28.  Residents and passersbys will see significant smoke in the air as the fire will burn southwest of Twin Lakes at the headwaters of the Reservoir. As a result, temporary road closures may be necessary to provide for public and firefighter safety.

The projects involve burning to reduce the accumulation of hazardous fuels, restore and maintain healthy and diverse forest ecosystems and maintain and enhance wildlife habitat.  Partial partnership funding comes from Habitat Partnership Program.

According to the USFS, Prescribed fire is an important tool in reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire across the landscape and can help prevent extreme fires by reducing hazardous fuel buildup and restoring the forest to a more historical state.  

Where there's smoke, there will be prescribed burns are planned for Twin Lakes sometime in the next two months.

Where there’s smoke, there will be prescribed burns. Two burns are planned for Twin Lakes sometime within the next two months.Photo: Leadville Today

Prescribed fires also minimize impacts to air quality when compared to wildfires.  Safety for the public and firefighters is the top priority when considering any prescribed fire operation on the landscape. 

More information is available by calling the Leadville Ranger District at (719) 486-0749.  Readers can also follow the USFS on Twitter for up-to-date information about these prescribed burn projects: @PSICC_NF, #TwinLakesRX.

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