Update from the Pinewood Road Board

roadboard

By Donn Fairbank

The PWS Road Board will be making posts to the MyPinewoodHome regarding the Pinewood Springs roads as information becomes available from our own road crew and from the Larimer County Engineering Department.Since the flood our PWS road crew was initially focused on minimizing damage to the roads aided by some great volunteers opening blocked culverts and redirecting water to minimize damage. We have also assisted Carl and the water department to help with damage control early on. Our focus then changed more to patching the damage that had been done and making the roads as passable and safe as we could under the circumstances. We have been using less than ideal materials for some of that work, but they were materials that we could salvage from ditches and out-flow areas. We exhausted the small supply of quality road base that we had on hand.Both the county and our own road board have essentially run out of funds. Since our road board is technically an advisory board, reporting to the county, I spoke to several of the county engineering officials this morning, Monday, 9/30, regarding the availability of FEMA funds. The county engineering office will be attending a meeting tomorrow called the Colorado Office of Emergency Management on Working to Identify Private Non-Profit Organizations and Local Governments Eligible for FEMA Disaster Aid. They hope to have a better handle on how those funds will be distributed and when.

We have accompanied the county engineers on a tour of Pinewood Springs documenting the damage to the roads and bridges. Based on our past experience, the county is likely to have responsibility for the bridges and the major roads (parts of Kiowa, Deer, Apache). We continue to work the roads and document our work and expenses for future reimbursement.

Our road crew was able to help Carl get his backhoe over from the Kiowa island. Today, they fixed washed out areas on Estes Park Estates Road near the church. Unless we find another source, we will be out of material by Wednesday. They expect to be working on the other side of the Seneca Bridge on Wednesday.

The information coming out of the FEMA meeting today sounds very good, but I haven’t been able to connect with the Larimer County Engineering Department for their take on the meeting. Information from others who attended the meeting report that the likely result will be money to pay for most of the emergency repairs we have been making and for most of the rebuilding of the roads. For eligible expenses, the federal cost share will be 75%. Colorado’s share will be 12.5%.  If a special district has spent all of their reserves, they could end up paying as little as 2.5% of the eligible expenses. I will have more details after speaking with the county engineers. In as much as we have spent all of our funds, including our emergency fund, we are hoping that we will be covered to the maximum amount.”

Donn Fairbank, September 30, 2013

Chair, PWS Road Board
Donn@Pinewoods.us

22 Comments

  1. John Wright
    Oct 3, 2013

    Outstanding Report… Thanx – jwrit

  2. Jerry Pettit
    Oct 3, 2013

    I have been hoping for more and updates on road repair and when it will be usable. Thanks

    • Carol Devenir
      Oct 3, 2013

      Thank you, Don and the crew, for your work and for the report.

      Carol

    • Donn Fairbank
      Oct 4, 2013

      Jerry,
      The PWS road crew has been doing everything they can with the resources on hand to make the roads within PWS as functional and as safe as we can. Unfortunately, we do not have much more info than the rest of you on the status and expectations on the US -36 repairs. We will pass on any reliable information we get.

      • Marcus Kurek
        Oct 6, 2013

        Good News: The Army Corps has built a short one-way dirt road from Big Elk Meadows to Pinewood. It was open on Saturday 10/5, but, according to a memeber of the Army Crops of Engineers, it will be closed to all traffic (foot & bike included) from 7:00am – 7:00 pm during the week for construction . Perhaps on the weekend too sice he said they would be working tomorrow (Sunday 10/6). We arrived there on Saturday around 3:30 expecting to park & hike in and there was an Audi and a monstrously huge motor home coming from Pinewood along the dirt road. If they could make it, any vehicle with air in the tires should be able to. What we thnk this means is that as long as the weather holds, we’ll be able to drive into Pinewood on the weekends to monitor and manage our homes. Our Verizon “extender” was working and we made a cell phone call from our home. We did not check our Skybeam internet or house phone line. We have no idea how 36 between Pinewood and Lyons is coming along. The damage is much more extensive there. If anyone has any further information, please share.

        • Marcus Kurek
          Oct 6, 2013

          P.S. There was no official check pont at Sunshine Canyon yesterday 10/5. Just a sign limmiting access to residents.

        • David Bingham
          Oct 6, 2013

          Saturday 10/05 I needed to get to my home. I thought I would give the “Stagecoach Road” a try. To my surprise there was no guard posted at Apple Valley Rd and 36 west toward Pinewood Springs. In addition there was no posted restriction. I decided to see how far I could drive, maybe take some photos. I was able to drive all the way to my home on Hwy. 36. No kidding. There were a couple of somewhat rocky patches but I made the entire trip in a half hour and I was driving a 1998 Subaru Impreza. I can’t give further details surrounding the allowed days, times and curfews, but it is 100% connected and doable.

  3. Bruce
    Oct 3, 2013

    Though there are a lot less of us, any ideas on Cree Court Island access (besides the log bridge)?

    • admin
      Oct 4, 2013

      Let me ask and I’ll get back to you.

    • Donn Fairbank
      Oct 4, 2013

      Bruce, I am checking with the road crew. Right now, they are inside and I am outside so communications can be slow. I’ll get back to you.

      • Donn Fairbank
        Oct 5, 2013

        Bruce,
        Please send me your contact info at donn@pinewoods.us. I will put you in touch with Dan, our roads superintendent.

        • Pat Dewey
          Oct 11, 2013

          I also live on Cree Court so I would be grateful to hear what the plans for access there along with Bruce. If Dan has details please copy me as well. Thanks!

          • admin
            Oct 12, 2013

            Pat…. I am about to post some excellent news about this…. ;-)

  4. Dave Isenberg
    Oct 4, 2013

    Thanks for the update, and more importantly, thank you all for the hard work on getting the roads improved. We managed to get to our home yesterday and were both relieved and impressed that the road damage from the rains/storms on Apache had been repaired. Given the limits on resources and the large amount of necessary repairs…WOW. Great work guys!

    Please keep us up to date as much as possible. Since we’re effectively hours away from our home, it’s incredibly helpful to us to be kept informed this way.

  5. Heather Shoffner
    Oct 4, 2013

    Hi – I had a question for the road board regarding the John Deere excavators that I’ve seen in many of the photos working on the repairs between Pinewood Springs and Estes Park. My Dad is a retiree from John Deere (27 years) and has been speaking with the guy that manages the John Deere website. He is interested in doing a story on the use of Deere equipment. Does anyone know who brought them in – is it a Deere dealer, or a contractor? If you could please send me some information, we may have some national exposure for the great work being done to restore our roads. My e-mail address is heather.shoffner@gmail.com or you can post to this site, and I will check it. Thank you for any help!

    • Donn Fairbank
      Oct 4, 2013

      Heather,
      The John Deere tractor is one of the PWS Road Board’s pieces of equipment. In fact, we are the only road board in Larimer County that owns their own equipment and the only road board that does their own road maintenance. We patch the roads; clean the ditches; maintain, clean, and replace culverts; plow snow from our roads including the county maintained roads; put up snow fences to reduce drifting on our roads; and more. The county actually pays us an annual fee to plow the improved county maintained roads in PWS. And, I can assure you that our roads get plowed much sooner than they would if the county had to come all the way down to our corner of the county to plow.

      The other great thing about us doing our own work, we do the job for fewer dollars per mile of road than any other road board in Larimer County.

      Heather, we would be happy to work with the folks at John Deere on a story about the use of their equipment. We have lots of pictures of our disaster work because we need them in the documentation of our emergency work on the roads for FEMA disaster payments.

    • Donn Fairbank
      Oct 4, 2013

      Clarification: We own the John Deere tractor being used within PWS. CDOT or the National Guard are the ones that might have info on the larger equipment being used on US-36.

      • Heather Shoffner
        Oct 5, 2013

        Don – thank you for the quick response. What is the best way to reach you?

  6. Cathy W.
    Oct 7, 2013

    I just wanted to clarify for folks what we understand to be the situation on Hwy 36 from the Estes side. There was no work happening on Friday or Saturday because the National Guard Units were swapping out – our Colorado crew which has been working almost non-stop to help us since the beginning of the crisis is getting relieved by a fresh crew from Utah. The new Utah crew was back on the job yesterday and tell us they will be working 7 days a week and that things are as they have been. That means foot traffic only on the hour from 7-7 – there is no indication this will be stopping and it will be the same on weekends as well.

    As long as they can leave the road in good enough condition for a one-way road it means we can drive in after 7p.m. We are commuting the long way to Boulder every day and home in the evenings and continue to keep a car at Big Elk Meadows as we know they may have a day where they can’t let us drive in – basically, it’s not something we are yet counting on. They really tore the road up yesterday as it looks like they are going to add more quality base to it. They also widened part of it!

    We are looking forward to the day when we can once again drive through Lyons – hopefully that is coming soon! In the meantime we are grateful we can go through Estes and feel blessed that we still have a home to go to every evening, even if it takes a long time to get there.

    Oh – we saw 2 GIANT excavators and a GIANT bulldozer on the peak to peak headed towards Estes this morning. Will be interested to see if they are coming for 36 as we have heard from the Guard that a giant bulldozer was on its way!

    • Larry Kemmer
      Oct 7, 2013

      Went past those large trucks as well this morning 10-7 on Hwy 7 as I headed for Nederland and Hwy 119. Saw the Governor, CDOT officials and others for their opening of 119 ceremony at 6:15ish at the base in Boulder. 119 sure must have been a debris issue since it didn’t look like a busted up road issue. The Estes Park to Longmont using 119 route sure beats Boulder 52/ Sunshine. Nice progress.

  7. Pat Swain
    Oct 8, 2013

    What is the best roads to take to get to Allenstown and Estes park from Aurora,co

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