by Dalton Carver
The initial engineering estimates for the County Road 17 rockslide are in, but the cost could change depending on the scope of work the Board of County Commissioners approves. Steven Calkins, road and bridge superintendent, and Connie Hunt, county administrator, provided the update to the BOCC at its regular meeting Tuesday morning.
Engineers at DOWL estimate a cost of about $27,000 for strictly the engineering work to be done in the area, which doesn’t include any costs related to rock removal and mitigation. Calkins said the estimate includes the mile-stretch of the county road that DOWL has marked as precarious for future slides.
For the time being, commissioners want to focus on what’s required to safely open the road as soon as possible and requested Calkins to get the engineering estimate for just the immediate slide area. All three elected officials think it worthwhile to address the issue for the entire section of road but set a goal of doing what's necessary to open the road first.
“We need to look at the big picture. I would imagine there are additional expenses to expand just beyond that site,” said John Peters, commissioner, making a case for expanded work on the road in the future. “I would hate to get in there and find out we didn’t do it and have it fall, if there’s something real and obvious.”
For the time being, commissioners directed Calkins to get an engineering work estimate on the immediate area of the slide and return to the board for further action, with the goal of reopening the road.
Engineering work will need to be completed prior to rock removal.
At the last session discussing the slide, Emergency Manager Glenn Boyd said the state may declare a disaster considering the heavy avalanche activity this winter. However, Hunt said Tuesday, that will not include this particular rockslide.
“They emailed this morning and said they’re only looking at avalanches, not the rockslide,” she said.
Hunt said she also reached out to the Department of Local Affairs on any emergency funding available to assist with repairs and mitigation.