Energy company steps up in Collbran

With more and more large trucks rolling through the Collbran area to serve gas drilling, it makes sense to divert that heavy traffic away from the main business district of what for more than a century has been primarily an agricultural and recreational community.

It also makes sense to have the energy companies foot much of the bill for the road work for that diversion, not the citizens of the town of Collbran.

So we’re pleased to see Plains Exploration and Production Co. stepping forward to assist in the project. The company is already paying for an engineering study for the truck bypass route. The study is expected to be finished next month.

Additionally, an attorney for Plains Exploration said the company is willing to put up some of the money for the project, and will encourage other energy companies working in the Plateau Valley region to also contribute.

Traffic volume in the area has doubled in the past two years due to energy development, according to Mesa County road officials. And authorities with the town are hopeful they will be able to begin construction on the bypass next spring.

But the Collbran Town Board of Trustees will have to decide whether to proceed once the engineering study is completed, the costs are known, and the town has a clear indication of how much energy-related companies will pay to help build it. Collbran has little money of its own to spend on road building, a fact recognized by both
Plains Exploration and Mesa County officials.

That’s why it is encouraging to see a firm such as Plains Exploration willing to participate in building the bypass, as well as developing new plans of operation to help reduce truck traffic as much as possible.


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