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Summer construction could extend to fall due to asphalt shortages

It could be August or September before some projects are able to resume, according the the county public works department.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Several Weld County road projects are being delayed indefinitely due to issues related to the supply of asphalt, according to the Weld County Public Works Department.

“This is as frustrating for us as it is for those traveling on our county roads,” said Mike Freeman, commissioner coordinator for the Weld County Department of Public Works. “However, this disruption in materials is not only affecting Weld County but several state projects as well, so we ask our residents to be understanding with us on our current road closures while we wait for our asphalt supply to be replenished.”

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Contracted suppliers told the county's public works department that there's a shortage of asphaltic cement (AC) related to a lack of refined oil being allocated and delivered to asphalt plants.

That is then delaying the ability of the plants to produce materials needed for projects.

>The video above is about supply chain issues and gasoline.

Public Works Deputy Director Curtis Hall explained the lowered AC supply allocations are having a direct impact on the county’s petroleum-based construction; mainly projects requiring paving.

He said the department has faced asphalt shortages before, but this is the largest that’s occurred in the middle of the construction season in recent years.

Hall said they hope to learn more about the supply issues in the coming days but that even when production resumes, it could be weeks before they're able to eliminate the backlog and catch up with demand.

That could mean that county projects may not resume until August or September. Roads currently closed will remain closed longer than originally planned as a result of the pause in construction.

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While several projects will be delayed, Hall identified many as top priorities when paving can resume including a full-depth reclamation project on Weld County Road (WCR) 43, a bridge redecking on WCR 20.5 between WCR 1 and 7 as well as an overlay project on WCR 59.

“We’re thinking it’ll be the end of August or maybe the beginning of September until we can start paving again,” Hall said, explaining that pushing back completion dates may delay projects scheduled for next year. 

“We understand residents’ frustration, but this is an industry-wide shortage. We’re all in the same situation.”


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