After years of discussions, Seventh Street has been extended from Sligo Street to County Road 27.
The Montezuma County Road and Bridge Department and county officials celebrated the road extension’s completion Thursday morning. The paved extension will allow drivers to circumvent Main Street and creates an additional route to the high school – especially helpful for the Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 transportation department, since the district’s bus garage is located along County Road 27.
“Anytime we can connect roads to allow smoother flow, we really like to try and do that,” said Rob Englehart, superintendent of the county’s Road and Bridge Department.
This road extension project was a collaborative effort between the city and county, since both entities owned half of the property required for the extension. It was proposed back in 2015, but didn’t come to fruition then.
County commissioners brought the project back up last year to the city, at first seeking to complete the project in partnership. But since Cortez did not have the funds for the construction, the city agreed to transfer its parcel of land to the county so the half-mile road extension could take place.
Before the transfer, the city’s portion ran along the south side of the high school property, while the rest was on county land.
Construction began in October 2019, and after a pause for winter, continued this spring, when they were able to lay down gravel and asphalt. The final cost of the project was $202,000, according to the Road and Bridge Department.
Project contributors and contractors included Maness and Associates, Stoner Engineering, and Trautner Geotech on the design and engineering; Circle Z Construction and Montezuma Water Company for utilities; and Four Corners Materials and Stripes-A-Lot as subcontractors for the asphalt paving and pavement striping.