Fri Aug 12th, 2022
The Southern Ute Drum
Categories: Top Stories
Tags: Cedar Point Housing Road Improvement Project, Cedar Point Subdivision, Douglas McDonald, Mary Evening Star Eagle, Russell Engineering & Planning, WCA Construction LLC
Since early July, residents of the Cedar Point Subdivision have noticed significant changes to their daily commutes as heavy roadwork has taken place throughout the entirety of the neighborhood. The Cedar Point Housing Road Improvement Project is being led by the Tribal Planning Department and Project Coordinator, Mary Evening Star Eagle of the Southern Ute Tribe. The construction work is being completed by WCA Construction, LLC, an enterprise of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, based in Towaoc, Colo. This is the first full road improvement project to occur since the subdivision was established in the early 2000’s with the only other additional work being the installation of speed tables in the mid-2010s.
The Cedar Point Housing Road Improvement Project aims to remove and replace sections in the roads in the subdivision that were surveyed as problem areas. The project was initially in the planning stages starting in 2016 with a design completed in 2017 by Russell Engineering & Planning of Durango, Colo., which has now merged with SEH Design Build.
The project was fully funded by 2020, when work was projected to take place, but the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic halted progress on construction. In 2021, the project resumed and was reevaluated and redesigned by SEH with a new survey conducted to find areas in the roadways that needed to be fixed or entirely replaced.
“We found several differences [in the roads] from what the engineers found in 2017,” Tribal Planner Douglas McDonald said. “The roads had deteriorated even more, so the design needed to be upgraded.” With the newly enhanced design, an estimated budget of about 2.5 million dollars was allocated for the project which will feature four types of repairs to the roads, while also addressing other issues to the roads and sidewalks.
The largest repair includes a Full Depth Reconstruction that will occur in about five to six areas in the subdivision. These areas were deemed as having an insufficient base, poor soils, or erosion from water over the years. Workers will replace the road by digging down almost 20 inches into the soil to create a stronger base with new materials and repave the road with asphalt. This will ensure the road will not degrade overtime and hold its existing structure. This phase is expected to be completed by mid-November.
Another repair occurring within the subdivision is a method called crack sealing which is used to repair cracks in moderately damaged roads with a “rubbery asphalt.” This process occurred early within the project throughout the entire subdivision. McDonald explained cracks in asphalt allow for water and other elements to go into the crevasses and degrade the road even further.
In early August, another repair was incorporated into the project using a resurfacing technique called Mainline Asphalt Milling to the roads, Lodge Pole Way and Elk Street to resurface the existing asphalt that does not entirely need to be replaced. This work is being done through a subcontractor, Western Milling, LLC. of Grand Junction, Colo. with supervision by WCA Construction.
“Typically, the asphalt pavement is four inches thick. So, in the milling and repaving, they grind off the first top two inches of pavement and that leaves the bottom two inches,” McDonald explained. “Theoretically…that’s still in pretty good shape. They pave the top two inches to the same level.” The repave of the roads will occur by late August.
The final repair in the project will be a chip seal where workers will lie down a sticky layer of asphalt and put a layer of gravel on top. “This is a cheaper way of repaving because it provides you with a new surface, but it doesn’t require as much material,” McDonald said. For most of the roads within the subdivision, this is all that will be required for improving the road.
Other improvements include addressing drainage issues on such roads like Rolling Thunder and Arrow Street where heavy rains create hazardous conditions. Some sidewalks were also improved by removing vegetation and trees that uproot the sidewalks and destroy the integrity of the foundation. Two new bus stops will also be constructed on Burning Cedar Avenue and one on Mountain Dew Circle and will be one of the final phases within the project.
The existing speed tables will remain in place for speed reduction through the neighborhood as part of the Long-Range Transportation Plan.
Work on the project will continue into the fall with many residents and tribal members looking forward to its completion.
“As a [tribal] member, I am happy to see Cedar Point getting a facelift,” Tribal Planning Administrative Assistant and Cedar Point resident, Roman Seibel said. “It feels like we are putting value back into Cedar Point. I feel like we should give it the facelift it needs to give the appreciation back to the tribal members [that live there.]”
For Tribal Planning Project Coordinator, Mary Evening Star Eagle, this road improvement project allows for the Tribal Planning Department to showcase what exactly it does for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. On a personal level it helps her apply her knowledge through her previous training to help improve the quality of life for the tribal membership, while also keeping the membership informed on projects within the department.
“We deserve to live in beautiful neighborhoods,” Eagle said. “We have the ability to apply these funds to have these maintenances done. I want to make the neighborhoods nice.”
The Cedar Point Housing Road Improvement Project is expected to be completed by Wednesday, Nov. 16, with standard work hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Severe weather patterns may impact the schedule and projected work dates on the project.