Little-used road gets major investment


It’s easy to get lost in the views driving on Reeder Mesa Road — do so at your own peril.

Caution signs seem to appear at a moment’s notice to alert unwary drivers at the last second to dangerous cutbacks in the road ahead — 15 mph, 10 mph read the warnings, down from the posted 55 mph.

Tracks in the soft, dirt shoulder show where the unwary were caught off guard. The history of their mistakes litters the road.

On Monday, the Mesa County Commission accepted a $200,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to make repairs to Reeder Mesa Road in Whitewater. The repairs are to begin in two weeks.

The DOLA grant comes from the state agency’s Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program. The road has benefited from numerous grants and efforts by Mesa County Public Works in recent years. Seven miles were paved in 2007, 4 in 2008, and 4 more will be done this year.

It is a road rarely travelled by commuters, but it’s heavily travelled by those learning to drive a truck, said Eric Bruton, director of Mesa County Road and Bridge.

“A year ago, drive out there, and I would say there were four to six different trucks” each day, Bruton said.

A commercial driver’s license school owner, LeRoy Arguello, owner of 5 Star CDL Professional Training, said Reeder Mesa Road may be a good place to train drivers of dump truck or water trucks, like those used by energy companies, but definitely not semis pulling a trailer.

“I have enough sense not to take a student up there,” Arguello said. “Some of those curves up there you are just barely going to make it.”

The road works well for those learning to drive smaller trucks, he said.
Bruton said every road in the county is on a eight- to nine-year rotation basis for maintenance.


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