FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – Constant changes in the weather and high traffic are causing many mountain roads to deteriorate and it’s causing a serious headache for drivers.
The Colorado Department of Transportation already knew a lot of the repair jobs are long overdue. Late last summer CDOT released a report saying that more than half of the roads were either dead or already dying. No place is that more true than in the mountains.
Gary Bergman with Meadow Creek Tires in Frisco showed CBS4′s Stan Bush a huge stack of dead tires behind his shop. Every one of the tires was damaged by bad roads.
“It’s worse this year than I’ve ever seen it,” Bergman said. “This is the busiest year that I’ve seen for potholes and flat repairs this early in the season.”
On Monday morning Bergman had a line outside his shop five cars deep even before he opened. For some of those cars, repairs can run up to $3,000.
“The hole gets bigger and bigger with more water, freezes in a larger amount and as it melts it just breaks it up to pieces,” Bergman said.
“The resurfacing is just always ongoing,” CDOT engineer Grant Anderson said.
The summer is already setting up to be a busy one for CDOT. Crews have been working all winter to plug up holes in the roads, but the patches don’t last long the high country’s harsh conditions.
“You get melt during the day and it’s just a cycle,” Anderson said. “We’re pretty unique in how many cycles we have up here.”
CDOT engineers will work on some of the busiest roads this summer. A couple of very bad long stretches of road will be completely retooled.
“The big one is Highway 91 between Copper and Fremont Pass. So that’s about 10 1/2 miles,” Anderson said.
But other spots, like a section of Highway 9 between Frisco and Breckenridge will only get a Band-Aid.
Floyd Hill and Vail Pass are also expected to get some major repair work this summer.
CDOT says it would need billions of dollars in extra funding to repair all of the roads that need fixing in the mountains.