|Nielson Construction is the contractor for Phase II of the project.|
The path between Moore and I-70 is getting better each day. Phase II of the Moore cut-off road is nearing completion. The project began in January. Phase I started on the Moore side and Phase II began just off of I-70. Phase III, when it begins, will take off where Phase II leaves off.
In the 1960s when I-70 was completed, the federal government had a pool of money to help get rural communities connected to the nationwide interstate system. The Moore road was the road designated to become upgraded to be the connector road from Western Emery County to I-70. The road and the money never materialized, but now 40 plus years later the long awaited improvements to the road are becoming a reality. Rep. Jim Matheson was instrumental in securing the funds for the improvements to the road. The road will be completed in several phases until the final phase which will be asphalt along the entire length of the road.
Nielson Construction has been the contractor for Phase II. Johansen and Tuttle is doing the engineering work with Nathan Johansen as the project manager. "The toughest thing about Phase II has been the enormous amount of rock we had to remove from a cut. It took about two months to go through it. The deepest cut was 27 feet. We had to drill and shoot it because blasting was required to remove the rock. All of the materials for the project have come out of the pit. The road base is mixed with permazyme which hardens the road.
"People are now traveling on the new alignment and everyone has had very positive comments about the improvements. There are two gypsum mines in the area and they are loving the new road. The tourists who travel along here also had very good things to say. It's been a tough job but the improvement is remarkable," said Johansen.
Phase III and IV have been designed and are now awaiting Utah Department of Transportation approval. UDOT must approve the designs before the phases can be bid. It is hopeful they will be bid in early fall of this year. UDOT has completed a new fence along Phase II of the project.
|Johansen and Tuttle survey crew work on the Moore road.|
"Phase II is actually a little shorter than originally intended due to higher construction costs; the high fuel costs have really affected everyone," said Johansen.
Johansen and Tuttle surveyors were on the job making sure the grade was correct. The top of the grade is marked with red heads. These markers show the blade operators the exact height the grade needs to be when they are spreading the road base.
Johansen said, "We work to maintain a balance with the cut and fill. We like to cut just enough to make the fill and we like to utilize the materials found on site to minimize the need to haul anything out or in for the job."
The workers from Nielson Construction were also on the job at the crusher breaking the rocks down to the 1.5 inch and smaller rocks needed for the road base.
The crusher operators are careful to get just the right mix for the road base which guarantees the road will hold up with the traffic load.