Public Works and Development had a banner summer 2021 paving program, resurfacing two bridges as well as 60 lane miles of county-maintained roads between April and November.
The mild weather in recent months allowed the Road and Bridge paving crew to complete its goals for the season and lay down 40,000 tons of asphalt with a budget of about $8 million.
“This is the first year we have met all of our goals as it regards quantity and quality,” said Road and Bridge Infrastructure Manager Douglas Stern. “It also marked the first time that we were able to do all of our paving with our own staff. We are proud of our guys for being able to do it.”
The county paving crew, which fluctuated between six and eight workers during the season, started projects identified in its five-year plan in the eastern portion of the county and worked west.
The two bridge repairs were done on County Road 18 (Jewell Avenue) and County Road 38 near Deer Trail. Along with repaving the bridge decks with three inches of asphalt, the approaches to each bridge were also repaved, said Michael Haraldson, Road and Bridge operations manager.
The county maintains 27 bridges that and in the past two seasons has improved three. Jolly Road was repaved in 2020. Moving forward Road and Bridge has a goal of maintaining five per year.
“We want to fix these bridges and not have to go back to them for quite some time,” Haraldson said.
Another highlight is the crew paved a section of roads in Strasburg between Monroe Street/Strasburg Road and Arapahoe Street. The work started at the end of June and wrapped up in early July.
The crew also paved the county’s portion of County Road 50 as sections maintained by the City of Aurora and Elbert County were done in recent years. Haraldson said the county took note of each of the project results to come up with a plan for this heavily traveled roadway. The result: laying 4-inches of new asphalt on the road.
“We were able to apply lessons learned from Aurora,” Haraldson said. “Our piece turned out the nicest, and I am proud of our crew for that.”
The 2020 paving program wrapped up early due to less traffic from the pandemic, allowing crews to work uninterrupted. This past season was typical of prior years with heavy traffic and with a staffing shortage, the county spent about $25,000 to hire contractors to manage traffic operations.
The county was able to avoid supply chain shortages of oil needed for paving operations due to a contractor keeping us well-supplied. “We got really lucky with our distributor,” Haraldson said. “Other government agencies were not as fortunate as us.”
Haraldson, who has been in his role for about 18 months and has been with Road and Bridge for seven, credits the paving crew for the successful year.
“This is one of the best years we have had performance wise,” he said. “They worked extremely hard. They accomplished all their project goals, and the quality was outstanding.”
Road and Bridge is gearing up for the 2022 paving program with an estimated 41,000 tons of asphalt and adding 2026 to its five-year paving plan. Check out this interactive map of future road improvement projects.