The primary responsibility of the Routt County Road and Bridge Department is to maintain 950 miles of roads and 87 bridges within the county’s boundaries. With respect to activities outside the city and town limits, but within Routt County, we also approve and issue:
- Grading and excavating permits
- Right-of-Way Improvement Permits
- Water Body Setback Permits
- Plow applications
- Oversize/overweight permits
- Special Event and Public Function permits within public right-of-ways
Although Routt County maintains over 900 miles of roads, there are some county roads that our department does not grade or snow plow at all. There are also many private and public roads that serve many rural properties, but are maintained by private citizens or homeowner associations. The Routt County Road Maintenance Plan hardened the boundaries of county road maintenance and it is the present policy of the Board of County Commissioners to NOT extend county maintenance. Make sure you understand the type of maintenance to expect and who provides that service. Building a house where there was only a haystack before may mean a new road and access location, and does not guarantee the county will start maintaining the road. See ‘Road Maintenance’ in this section.
It’s important for a property owner to realize that the county does not assume the responsibility for the construction or maintenance of private driveways. All work or improvements placed in the county road right-of-way require a Right-of-Way Improvement Permit. The expense of the driveway, culverts, gravel, labor, and maintenance is the complete responsibility of the property owner. All private driveways adjoining a county road need to be approved by the Road and Bridge Department and it would be best to visit with our staff when considering your proposed driveway options. Please keep in mind that Right-of-Way Improvement Permits are not typically issued between November 1st and April 30th, and are good for the calendar year issued only.
In extreme weather, even county maintained roads could become impassable. You may need a four-wheel drive vehicle with chains to travel during these winter events, which could last for several days. Weekend snow plowing is focused on paved and primary roads, and it may not be possible for us to plow all winter maintained roads. Roads designated as minimal maintenance are not snow plowed by the county. A private snow removal permit is required for all parties plowing public and county roads not maintained by the county. When plowing your private driveway, your snow must stay on your side of the road. IT IS UNSAFE AND POSSIBLY ILLEGAL TO PLOW SNOW ACROSS THE ROAD. In all cases, your snow stays on your side of the road.
Unpaved roads are not always smooth and are often slippery when wet. You will experience an increase in vehicle maintenance costs when you regularly travel on rural, county roads. Dust, washboards, and rough roads are part of gravel road living.
If your road is unpaved, it is highly unlikely that Routt County will pave it in the foreseeable future, if ever. Check carefully with the Road Department when any statement is made by the seller of a property that indicates an unpaved road will be upgraded or paved.
Mail delivery is not available to all areas of the county. Ask the local postmaster if you are in an area that is receiving rural mail service. Mailboxes must be located so they do not restrict winter snow removal. Each box owner is responsible for clearing the area in front of his or her mailbox; it is not the county’s responsibility. Please contact the Road and Bridge Department for information concerning mailbox installation.
School buses only travel roads that have been designated as school bus routes by the school district. You may need to drive your children to the nearest designated county road so they can get to school.
Routt County Road Maintenance Levels
Primary roads have been typically defined as being school bus routes, mail routes, most pavement and chip seal roads. School and mail routes are basically classified as primary recognizing that these public services are necessary to the citizens of the County. Primary roads are given the highest level of maintenance by the County. Primary roads are maintained in as near normal driving conditions as manpower and resources allow, will be plowed during the winter months, and given the highest priority for summer maintenance.
Rural roads are typically defined as farm to market roads providing access to agricultural, as well as residential properties, including some mail routes. Maintenance will e provided which allows for adequate, sufficient traveling. Snow plowing may not be as prompt, meaning delays may temporarily restrict ease of travel at certain times of the year. Although the user may encounter a reduced ease of travel on these roads, they can generally expect the Rural roads to be passable and adequately maintained throughout the year.
Remote roads are defined as low volume rural roads that may not be through roads. These roads may end at homes, farms, ranches and public lands. The level of maintenance is the same as that of rural roads but of lesser priority.
Minimal maintenance roads have almost no improvements, are usually surfaced with native materials, and are not snowplowed. They seldom receive summer maintenance, and travel is not advised when they are wet or there is inclement weather. Minimal maintenance roads are not graveled; 4-wheel drive and/or high clearance vehicles may be required. Vehicles may be restricted or prohibited during the spring thaw. Motorists may wish to park in designated areas and continue with an alternative method of transportation.