Crouch Mesa road work aims for improved safety

County road across Crouch Mesa saw 17 crashes last year

Hannah Grover
  • San Juan County will repair and improve County Road 350 this year.
  • The work includes crack sealing and overlay, as well as safety and drainage improvements.
  • The safety improvements will be added to the intersection with County Road 390.
  • A business manager says she has seen several crashes at the intersection over the past six years.

CROUCH MESA — Construction has begun on a more than 7-mile road that crosses Crouch Mesa from north to south.

San Juan County Public Works Department employees meet before starting work Tuesday on a County Road 350 project on Crouch Mesa.

County Road 350 will receive crack sealing and overlay this spring and summer, according to a press release from the San Juan County public works department. The planned repairs include safety and drainage improvements at the intersection with County Road 390, which starts as Wildflower Parkway in Farmington, according to the press release. In addition to those improvements, the county also will replace culverts in two sections along County Road 350, including near the intersection with County Road 390.  It also will perform structural roadway repairs near the former Lee Acres landfill.

The replacement of existing culverts with larger ones as part of the drainage improvements is expected to cost $131,600. Roadway repairs near the former Lee Acres landfill will likely cost $121,600.

In 2016, there was a total of 17 crashes along the 7.5-mile road, according to data from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

The safety improvements include widening the road at the intersection with County Road 390, the addition of turn lanes, the construction of concrete channelization structures at the intersection, the addition of sidewalks and driveways and drainage improvement projects. The county has received about $650,000 in state and federal funding for design and construction for the work.

Kalee Chivers-Grothe has been the general manger of the Dino's convenience store and gas station located at the intersection for six years. During that time, she has seen several crashes, as well as near wrecks.

"They need a stoplight right there," she said.

San Juan County Public Works Department employees work on improvements to County County Road 350 on Crouch Mesa on Tuesday.

She added that the addition of the sidewalk will stop drivers from cutting through the Dino's parking lot to avoid traffic backed up at the stop sign.

"Somebody is going to roll a vehicle in this parking lot," she said, adding that she was surprised no one has been hit so far.

At the same time, she has concerns about how the construction will affect the business, including what drainage improvements will be included.

During a storm in August 2015, Dino's parking lot and store were flooded. Grothe said the current drainage could not handle the water. She is also concerned that plans to include sidewalks and more pavement will lead to more water running off and pooling on the store's property.

"They better have a good drainage system," she said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.