$31 Million in Contracts for Local Business

08/20/2020

The giant construction project to re-route U.S. Highway 550 off Farmington Hill to connect with the Grandview Interchange will include $31 million in contracts for local contractors.

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SOUTHWEST COLORADO BUSINESSES MAY WIN MORE THAN 30 MILLION DOLLARS IN CONTRACTS DURING THE NEXT TWO YEARS TO WORK ON THE NEW U.S. HIGHWAY 550 – 160 CONNECTION THAT WILL REPLACE FARMINGTON HILL. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE OVERLOOK AT EDGEMONT HIGHLANDS. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. CONSTRUCTION OF THE U.S. HIGHWAY 550 – 160 INTERCHANGE THAT WILL REPLACE FARMINGTON HILL BEGINS THIS MONTH. U.S. HIGHWAY 550 WILL BE REROUTED FROM THE INTERSECTION WITH COUNTY ROAD 220 TO CONNECT WITH THE EXISTING BRIDGE OVER U.S. 160 TO U.S. 550 TO THE SOUTH.
IT REMOVES THE STEEP, SHADED GRADE OF FARMINGTON HILL. SO IT WILL REMOVE SOME OF THE ICING, OR MANY OF THE ICING CONCERNS, THAT WE HAVE IN THE WINTER MONTHS. AND IT'LL IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY, THE MOBILITY OF THE TRAVELING PUBLIC BY HAVING IT BE A CONTINUOUS MOVEMENT BETWEEN U.S. 550 and 160 AS OPPOSED TO THE CURRENT SIGNALIZED INTERCHANGE THAT WE HAVE NOW. THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION HAS HIRED LAWRENCE CONSTRUCTION OF LITTLETON AS THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR AND R S AND H INCORPORATED, A NATIONAL ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURAL FIRM, TO DESIGN AND BUILD THE 98 POINT 6 MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT. ABOUT 21 MILLION DOLLARS WILL BE SPENT ON PRELIMINARY DESIGN, RIGHTS-OF-WAY PURCHASES, AND ENVIRONMENTAL MITIGATION. THE REMAINING 77 MILLION DOLLARS WILL BE USED TO HIRE CONTRACTORS WITH 31 MILLION OF THAT AMOUNT, OR ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF THE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT, SPENT TO HIRE LOCAL SOUTHWEST COLORADO COMPANIES.
WE DIDN'T WANT TO COME DOWN HERE AND BUILD THIS JOB WITH OUR FORCES, OUR CREWS FROM DENVER. WE WANTED TO USE AS MANY LOCALS AS POSSIBLE. SO I'VE BEEN, I'VE BEEN COMING DOWN HERE AND, YOU KNOW, MEETING WITH A LOT OF OUR LOCAL SUPPLIERS AND ITS CONTRACT POTENTIALS AND TRYING TO FIND THEM SCOPES OF WORK THAT THEY CAN DO ON THIS PROJECT. MOTORISTS ON FARMINGTON HILL AND COUNTY ROAD 220 WILL EXPERIENCE MINIMUM TRAFFIC DELAYS OR INTERRUPTIONS, BECAUSE THE PROJECT DESIGN CALLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A SEPARATE ACCESS ROAD ALONG THE HIGHWAY'S NEW ALIGNMENT ROUTE. THE ACCESS ROAD WILL ALLOW WORK CREWS, EQUIPMENT AND HAUL TRUCKS TO ACCESS THE FIRST SEVERAL PHASES OF THE PROJECT, WHICH INCLUDES CONSTRUCTION OF TWO BRIDGES OVER TWO GULCHES ALONG THE ROUTE. THE PROJECT ALSO CALLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A ROUNDABOUT TO CONNECT THE NEW ROAD TO THE EXISTING BRIDGE OVER U.S. HIGHWAY 160 THAT LOCALS HAVE DERISIVELY CALLED THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE, BECAUSE IT SEEMINGLY DIDN'T CONNECT TO ANY OTHER ROADS. THE INITIAL INTERCHANGE INFRASTRUCTURE WAS COMPLETED AS PART IF A LONG-RANGE MASTER TRANSPORTATION PLAN IN 2011, AND ADDITIONAL CONNECTIONS TO THE BRIDGE HAVE BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR NINE YEARS. CONSTRUCTION OF WILSON GULCH ROAD IN 2016 CONNECTED THE BRIDGE TO THREE SPRINGS IN A PROJECT JOINTLY FUNDED BY LA PLATA COUNTY, THE CITY OF DURANGO, THE SOUTHERN UTE GROWTH FUND, AND THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. FUNDING FOR THE 98-MILLION-DOLLAR U.S. HIGHWAY 550-160 CONNECTION TOOK ANOTHER FOUR YEARS TO ASSEMBLE WITH RESOURCES PROVIDED BY STATE AND FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENTS, THE SOUTHERN UTE INDIAN TRIBE, LA PLATA COUNTY AND THE CITY OF DURANGO. WHEN COMPLETED, THE PROJECT WILL CONNECT THE HIGHWAY 550-160 INTERCHANGE WITH A FOUR LANE HIGHWAY TO THE FOUR-LANE SECTION OF U.S. HIGHWAY 550 AT COUNTY ROAD 302. IT WILL INCLUDE SEVERAL LARGE AND SMALL ANIMAL UNDERPASSES, AND DEER FENCING ALONG THE ENTIRE CORRIDOR. THE PROJECT IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN EARLY 2023. IF YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE U.S. HIGHWAY 550 – 160 CONNECTION PROJECT, VISIT C O D O T DOT GOV AND SEARCH FOR U S 550 DASH U S 160 CONNECTION SOUTH. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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