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  • Tom McCracken

BACA ROAD MAINTENANCE

In the early 70’s when the Baca Grande sub-division was created, roads were bulldozed through the forest and straight up steep inclines with very little or no attention paid to environmentally sensitive design. For many years, few people lived here and there was little incentive for the County or POA to do anything to remedy the problem.

In the absence of water-bars that funnel running water from heavy rains off the road and out of the adjacent drainage ditch, and in the absence of vegetation, serious erosion has been occurring ever since, clogging culverts and sending piles of soil down the hills to accumulate on the main road at the bottom. Now that the population has increased it is time to deal with this problem. If we do not start installing water bars, and grading the road in such a way that runoff goes to the drainage ditch instead of running down the middle of the road, this problem will become much more serious and the cost of fixing the problem will only become higher and higher.

The paved roads are crumbling also. Road shoulders have not been maintained leading to the asphalt becoming unstable and crumbling off. I have not seen repaving projects occurring regularly on our paved roads. These roads are now 40 years old. Each year portions of the road should be repaved, or we will find ourselves needing to pave the entire system at once and I do not see how that is affordable.

A contributing problem is fiber optic cable being laid next to the roads and no reclamation occurring. I approached the POA, the BOCC and SLVREC asking for reseeding of disturbed areas but was totally ignored. This would not be allowed to happen in adjacent Counties. I would point to an example: a pipeline was recently laid next to Hwy. 50 East of Gunnison. The entire length of the project was reclaimed and reseeded.

We need Commissioners who will provide oversight to our Road and Bridge Dept. and require private entities to develop land responsibly. You need to elect someone who has a clue about these issues. I am that person. Elect Thomas McCracken County Commissioner Dist. #1.

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