Leadville News – February 10

#1 Motor-Grader Lives in Leadville Today!

The best of the best lives right here in Lake County. That’s right, the Colorado Western Snow & Ice Conference and National Snow Roadeo winner of the Motor Grader first place trophy is . . . . Leadville’s James McNicholas!

McNicholas_James_Motor Grader Champion 2017

The jacket doesn’t lie! Meet the Motor Grader first place winner: James McNicholas with the Lake County Road & Bridge crew. Congratulations!

The competition was fierce with nearly 40 participants over the 2-day contest of tandem-axle snow plowing and alley dock tests! And these aren’t any green-horns behind the big wheels! These are seasoned veterans from the Colorado Department of Transportation, along with some bigger-budgeted Colorado counties, like Adams and Larimer.  Some of the competitors came from as far away as Missoula and Bozeman. But when it all played out, Lake County Public Works operator McNicholas threw-down a serpentine maneuver that put the others to shame and allowed him to walk away the winner!

Each year, the American Public Works Association puts on the competition in Gunnison, Colo, attracting dozens of big-rig operators looking to show off their skills. There’s the “Bull Grading” competition where blocks are arranged on stands of different heights. The objective is to knock the blocks off the stands without knocking over the stands in a continuous motion. Each block has a value of 25 points. Or consider the Serpentine, a maneuver that McNicholas considers one of his strong suits, where the operator’s ability to maneuver the grader through a series of offset cones, without touching any objects is tested!

It’s about skill and precision and that’s what put $100 in prize money into McNicholas’ pocket, along with some hefty bragging rights until next fall’s competition.

Traveling Trophy Irwin

#Represent! Now that’s some kind of trophy! Thanks to James McNicholas for bringing it home to the Lake County Road and Bridge Department this year! Photo: Courtesy of Michael Irwin, Asst. Director, Lake County Public Works.

In addition to the one-of-a-kind traveling trophy – which is on display at the Lake County Public Works Department –  there’s a daily benefit to each and every resident of Leadville Today, especially as the calendar turns to the snowiest weather for residents at 10,200 feet.

It means cleared roads, cleaned out ditches, and properly graded intersections!

So if you see him coming your way, give himsome space. No doubt, McNicholas could flip that center-swivel blade and put you out of harm’s way in one continuous motion, but there’s no need to test him. He’s already shown himself worthy, and he’s got the jacket to prove it. Congratulations, James and thanks for keeping the Lake County roads safe and passable.

Traveling Trophy McNicholas

Lake County Road and Bridge Operator James McNicholas is presented the first place trophy for Motor-Grader at the 2017 Colorado Western Snow & Ice Conference and National Snow Roadeo.

Lake County Road & Bridge – Get ‘Er Done!

 

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