Who will foot bill for crumbling road up in air

Dennis Hill of Bookcliff Gardens Nursery and Landscape at 755 26 Road inspects the new road surface which is heaving and cracking in front of his business.

A sign now blinks “ROAD FAILURE” then “UNDER EVALUATION” along the roadside before the cracked, uneven pavement greets oncoming drivers.

A solution for those cracks, crevices and bumps on a freshly paved stretch of 26 Road south of Interstate 70 will likely come later this summer. Who will pay for the additional road work remains a mystery.

An “unanticipated reaction” between cement and soil mixed during the construction process last fall is to blame for the road’s problems, City Engineering Manager Trent Prall said Thursday, the day the electronic warning signs were placed near the growing damage. The road is set to be fixed this summer, although the method has yet to be determined.

The city will pick up the tab for that method if the 26 Road mishap resulted from a design flaw, Prall said. If construction work is to blame, Prall said the construction company who did the work should pay.

“It’s too premature to tell at this point,” Prall said.

The city paid Scott Constructing Inc. of Henderson $910,544.90 to repave and install utility pipes along 26 Road.

Scott got an additional $951,980.25 to perform similar work on nearby G 1/2 Road.

The project was meant to make room for increased traffic and provide water and sewer lines for two proposed subdivisions. The projects — Jacobson’s Pond and Ruby Ranch — are experiencing delays.

The construction project coincided with detours and an 18 percent decrease in business at nearby Bookcliff Gardens, co-owner Dennis Hill said. The prospect of more construction and another road closure unnerves Hill, but he said he holds no grudges against the city or Scott Constructing.

“They’re not dodging it. Scott has been out here three times patching the road,” Hill said.

Hill said he noticed the road settling at uneven levels as early as January. He said the finished construction at G 1/2 Road, which is paved with asphalt, looks great. But concrete-finished 26 Road “is crumbling. It’s just blowing up.”

Multiple calls to Scott project manager Cody Patterson were not returned Thursday.

Scott chose concrete over asphalt for 26 Road. City documents show asphalt was part of Scott’s original plan for 26 Road.

Bad blood is not boiling between the city and Scott at this time, according to Prall. The city has used Scott before on the extensive Ranchmen’s Ditch project.

“The city is still working with Scott on what to do,” Prall said. “Scott has been pretty responsive to date.”

Prall said the city will wait until late summer to implement a permanent solution in order to avoid the busy summer traffic season.


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