NEWS: Thursday May 20, 2010

May 20th @ 6:03 am in News by Scott Staley

Autopsy results are still pending after a woman was found dead in a pond on her property. The Daily Sentinel says Fruita Police Officers responded yesterday morning to an apparent drowning at the woman’s home on Peach St.  It’s being investigated as an unattended death at this time.
Source: Daily Sentinel (Posted 6:03a)

The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Flatiron Construction completed repairs to Glenwood Canyon with a final walk-through inspection May 19th. Flatiron has beat the project completion date, initially set for May 15th, but extended to May 31st when CDOT added wire mesh (rockfall netting) to the project. Flatiron Construction Corporation of Longmont began the repairs on March 8th. Because of the critical need to expedite repairs on the interstate, the contract carried with it a $5,000/day incentive for early completion (with $5,000 deducted each day the work runs past their set completion date). The maximum incentive is set at 5 percent of the contractor’s bid items, which totaled $620,830. Thus, Flatiron Construction has earned $31,000 in early-completion incentives by beating the May 31st project completion date by 12 calendar days. “I can’t say enough about the efficient, high-quality work that Flatiron has performed,” CDOT Region 3 East Program Engineer Joe Elsen said. “Even with the addition of rockfall netting and some weather challenges, the contractor expedited this project, maintained a safe work zone and delivered a successful project.” 

PROJECT DETAILS: The repair work took place between mile markers 124 and 125, just west of Hanging Lake Tunnel. The work involved bridge deck and bridge wall/rail repairs (including 150 feet of new steel bridge rail); guardrail repairs (about 120 linear feet) to hillside concrete barrier; median concrete barrier repair (replacement of 400 linear feet); removal and replacement of 690 square feet of concrete retaining walls; straightening of steel bridge girders using a flame straightening process; some lighting and electrical repairs; and repairs to the bike trail below. Finally, Crews used approximately 500 tons of base course material on the roadway, as well as 400 tons of patching asphalt to repair the driving surface. Flatiron Construction, with assistance from rockfall contractor Rock Solid Solutions, also installed 14,000 square feet of wire mesh along a section of the canyon wall, near the bottom of the two chutes that delivered the rocks on the March 8 rockfall event.  “The wire mesh is designed to keep smaller rocks (less than 3 feet in diameter) that may release from the talus slope above from reaching the highway,” CDOT Geologist Ty Ortiz said. “The goal is to reduce the chances of these smaller rock incidents; the mesh is not intended to mitigate a large event like the one that occurred on March 8.”
The costs of the rockfall incident and the repair project include the following:

  • Rockfall Incident – $300,000 (maintenance costs, traffic control, blasting/scaling, helicopter)
  • Construction Phase - $1,880,000 (including the additional $300,000 for the rockfall mesh)
  • Total – $2,180,000

These costs will be reimbursed by the Federal Highway Administration. CDOT is also requesting additional federal assistance to conduct a follow-up selection study on additional rockfall mitigation in the canyon. More information on this will be sent at a later date when information is available. “Rock Solid Solutions worked with us during the incident phase, with our initial scaling and blasting operations, and also with our follow-up work on placing the wire mesh,” CDOT Glenwood Resident Engineer Roland Wagner said. “Their expertise on this incident was invaluable—they deserve a great deal of credit for their incident management and timely response.” To see photos of the completed project, the media can log on to CDOT’s Media Room page at For information about other CDOT projects, the public may log on to or call 511. To receive information directly, log on to this web site and click the icon in upper right corner entitled “Sign up for Email and Wireless Alerts.”
Source: Press Release   (Posted 6:00a)

Yesterday Don Coram, candidate for the 58th District of the House of Representatives, held a Meet & Greet in Montrose and says ultimately Colorado needs people to support the state at the national level, regardless of party line.  Coram (R) is a native of Montrose County and his previous opponent Mark Rodgers is of Dolores. Rodgers dropped out of the race in February due to a lack of funding. Current seat holder, Scott Tipton intends on running for the 3rd Congressional District this fall.
Source: State Bill Colorado contributed to this story    (Posted 6:00a)

Speaking of which, members of Colorado’s congressional delegation are supporting a bill that would make the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area in the San Juan National Forest a national monument. KJCT says that the U.S. Senate’s National Parks Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill yesterday. Chimney Rock is located about 15o miles southeast of Montrose.
Source: KJCT/AP   (Posted 5:56a)