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States Steer More Money Toward Rural Roads

PEW By Jenni Bergal November 1, 2022

Locals called it “The Roller Coaster” or “Delta Dips.”

The 19-mile stretch along U.S. Highway 50 from Delta, Colorado, to just south of Grand Junction, was filled with bulges and dips, making it unpleasant to drive and sometimes downright dangerous.

“Some trailers lost loads because of those dips,” said Don Suppes, a Delta County commissioner. “I personally watched a small truck that had its trailer knocked off the hitch. It was a little spooky.”

Suppes said the dips and swells were caused by the clay soil that settles under the pavement and gets spongy when wet.

Colorado transportation officials decided to target the stretch, spending $15 million in state and federal money on it as part of a statewide rural road improvement initiative. They completed the multiyear project in July.

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