The Buford New-Castle Road north of New Castle, Colorado.

Improvements planned for Buford-New Castle Road

Garfield County to replace culverts, improve the first eight miles of CR 245

January 16, 2024

Garfield County has signed an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to improve the first eight miles of the Buford-New Castle Road (County Road 245). Improvements include replacement of up to eight culverts, shoulder and roadbed grading, placing roughly 20,000 tons of new gravel and subsequent dust control, and erosion-control efforts.

The work is taking place from the end of the pavement at mile marker 0 to milepost 8, which is approximately a half-mile past the West Elk Trailhead parking lot. As part of the agreement, the USFS is reimbursing the county for project costs, which overall are anticipated at more than $1.2 million.

Garfield County is providing all labor, materials, traffic control, and equipment for the project, and all gravel is sourced from the USFS Hiner Springs Pit, in nearby Rio Blanco County.

Garfield County Road and Bridge Director Wyatt Keesbery told the Board of County Commissioners that the agreement allows the county to bill the USFS for up to $90,000 for labor and equipment use.

“We currently have $500,000 budgeted for this project,” he told the board. “That’s for gravel and hauling and this agreement allows us to use Forest Service gravel. I’d like to get this project started as soon as the weather allows it.”

The board approved the agreement unanimously, 3-0.