Powderhorn Road will get $400,000 makeover

On snowy days, some of the slickest maneuvering you’ll do during a day at Powderhorn Resort is negotiating the narrow, winding road that leads from Colorado Highway 65 to the resort itself.

But a new $400,000-plus road construction project signed off on Monday by Mesa County aims to make that stretch — known as Powderhorn Road, and alternately as E 1/4 Road — wider and easier to drive.

“The biggest thing that it is going to do for us is, it’s going to make the way that traffic flows much safer,” said Sam Williams, mountain operations manager at Powderhorn Resort.

The specifics include a 16-foot gravel shoulder on the north side of the road for some 2,500 feet. That should cover the segment of road from the connection at Highway 65 to the resort’s administration building.

Accurate Construction & Excavation Inc. of Fruita was awarded the contract. 
A spring start date is estimated with completion by Sept. 1, 2013.

The widening will have an impact beyond just access in and out for skiers and riders. Williams said it will be easier for emergency vehicles to get in and out as well, and the improved shoulder is expected to help alleviate the resort’s “capacity problem with parking” on busy days.

The resort was purchased in August 2011 by an ownership group that includes members of the Gart family, known for sporting goods stores in the Colorado region. Powderhorn is in the process of upgrading amenities and facilities resort-wide, including boosting off-season activities.

“As we continue to expand our operations — we’re looking at bike parks and some other things like that — having that widened shoulder for pedestrian and bike traffic is going to make things a lot safer for them also,” Williams said.

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