Construction and paving work on a 14-mile stretch of the controversial Burr Trail should begin by next week.
"We did take some equipment in there just before Christmas and ripped up the road base to get it ready," said Garfield County Commissioner Tom Hatch. "We got a lot of moisture to soften it up and we are ready to get started."Those 14 miles, from the Blues to the west boundary of Capitol Reef National Park, are not subject to a federal judge's restraining order that has prevented construction on the first 13 miles of the road.
The Bureau of Land Management has been studying that 13-mile section of the road to determine whether or not the county must conduct a full-blown environmental impact statement before construction can begin. The BLM told the county Monday they should have decision within 10 days.
If the BLM issues a "finding of no significant impact," then the county could begin construction this summer. "We hope to have the first 27 miles paved by the first frost," Hatch said.
Construction on those portions east of Capitol Reef should be completed next year.