Members of the Alta City Council voted Monday night to approve plans for construction and repaving work to begin on West Highway inside the city of Alta and on M31 stretching for 1,440 feet north of town early next summer.
The Council passed two resolutions which both consented to the additions to M31 inside and outside of the city limits which will repave and widen the road, particularly along First Street to Fourth Street in Alta.
The goal of the endeavor is to help make the road smoother to ride on, and, given the high volume of traffic the road receives every day, Alta City Clerk Tom Huseman said the work will make the road safer as well.
"The West Highway will be a better road because of this project," Huseman said. "It gets a lot of traffic, and a lot of that traffic is heavy traffic, so it's been well-used over the years. This project will definitely help it be a better road for people to travel on in the future."
The curb sections along West Highway stretching from 1st Street to 4th Street will be eliminated and that area of the road will be widened from 22 feet to 26 feet.
The highway will then be repaved with an additional three inches of fresh asphalt, making the road slightly higher than before.
Manholes covers will be raised along the road to compensate for the additional height caused by the three inches of new asphalt, and culverts underneath the road will also be extended to match the width of the street above.
Huseman said Jon Ites, the engineer for the project, estimates the project will cost around $360,000, but Buena Vista County and Alta will each pay 50 percent, making Alta's bill approximately $180,000.
Nearly all of the money the city will spend on the repaving project will come from a federal STP grant for the enterprise totaling $192,000. However, the city is prepared if the endeavor goes above the original estimate given by Ites.
"We've been budgeting for this for some time," Huseman said. "We've been expecting this project to come along for a while now, so the city's budget is well-prepared for this."
The city will also help pay for work done to M31 north of Highway 7. Construction and repaving on that street will stretch 1,440 feet north of the highway, and will cost approximately $14,000.
Huseman said Ites estimates bidding for the project will start around the beginning of February, and work on the venture could start as early as May or June.
While the length the construction process will take has not been set yet, Huseman said that the project should not interrupt travel on the main street for very long.
"It would only be temporarily inaccessible to people," Huseman said. "We don't think this will be something that will block traffic on the road for a large amount of time."
The construction along West Highway in Alta is part of a large county-sponsored enterprise which will focus on overhauling and repaving five miles of Highway M31 in Buena Vista County over the course of the next year.