MEEKER I Within the past week, the Town of Meeker, utilizing funding support from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), has started work on the long-planned sidewalk and crosswalk installation on the north side of Market Street in downtown Meeker.
The project includes replacing sidewalks and installing new sidewalks and enhancements from Fourth Street to Watts Ranch Market along the north side of Market Street, as well as the construction of crosswalks at Fifth and Eighth streets.
Duckels Construction of Steamboat Springs is the contractor for this project.
“Work is beginning somewhere already,” Mayor Regas Halandras said late last week. “There will be some surveying and setting of stakes before the work is obvious,” he said. “But within a short time, the construction equipment will be in place on the lot next to Family Dollar, and work should be in full swing in no time.”
Halandras said the Meeker project had a planned starting date of May 1 but that with the good weather, “CDOT gave us the go-ahead, and we may be done now by the end of June.”
There will be intermittent closure of traffic lanes during the construction period, Town Administrator Scott Meszaros said, adding that business access will remain open at all times, and work hours are expected to be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Halandras and Meszaros said this project is hoped to be only the first phase of a project to place sidewalks on both sides of Market Street, but that at this time, with the economy and falling valuation, it is uncertain as to if and when the remainder of the project will be completed.
The project has been planned for almost two years, but having to complete all the engineering plans and having to meet CDOT standards because Market Street is also a state highway has led to a number of delays.
“I would love to continue the project this year all the way down to 11th or 12th streets on the north side,” Halandras said. “But we may have to fund that completely on our own, which would cost us about $750,000. This would all be paid for with money from severance taxes, but with the slowdowns in oil and gas exploration around here, we don’t know how much money we will get.
“We also have plans for a major water line project next year on the south side of Market Street that could cost us about $1 million, so there are just a lot of uncertainties at this time.”
Halandras said the town is trying to seek grants to help with the next phase or phases of the entire town project, but that with money being what it is, it may be tough to obtain more help from CDOT.
He added that all the engineering has been done for the entire project on both sides of Market Street and that the longer the town waits the better the chance that CDOT will make more regulation changes, which could lead to more delays and more costs.