Construction companies expect active year |

Construction companies expect active year

The big two

Of the long list of projects underway in the Vail Valley, the biggest are in Vail. The two biggest of those are the construction of a new underpass beneath Interstate 70 and the addition of a new west wing to Vail Valley Medical Center.

For more information about the I-70 project, go to

To learn more about the medical center project, go to http://www.vvmc.com">

EAGLE COUNTY — Remember all those years when the (construction) crane was the unofficial bird of the Vail Valley? Those days aren’t exactly back, but this is shaping up to be a busy season in the construction business.

The town of Vail recently released a list of major public and commercial projects either underway or about to start. It’s a long list, and it spans the length of town from the farthest reaches of East Vail to the Chamonix neighborhood to the west.

The town of Avon also has a good-sized to-do list of public projects set to start this year, from the construction of new bus shelters to paving a new climbing lane on Metcalf Road.

Add in construction of public and private projects throughout the rest of the valley and local construction companies and subcontractors are looking at a busy year.

“We’ve brought on a lot of new staff within the last two months,” said Jen Weintraub, of RA Nelson, one of the valley’s biggest construction companies.

While Weintraub said the company is usually looking for “talented, dedicated” people, the company has been ramping up for an active year.

RA Nelson’s project list this year runs the gamut from public work to private, and from commercial projects to custom homes.

While the work load has increased, Weintraub said that the company right now is “confident” it has enough people to get the work done.

That confidence extends to the subcontractors that work for the company on its projects.

Getting the right number of people on a project at the right time takes a good bit of planning, Weintraub said.

“It’s hard to start a project late and lock in the (subcontractors),” Weintraub said. “The earlier we start, the better.”

David Shaw started Edwards-based Shaw Electric in 1986. During the construction boom of the previous decade, the company had a dozen electricians on staff, according to Shaw. Since the local construction business slumped hard starting in 2009, the company had to get smaller. Shaw said for the past several years he has had only six electricians on staff.

Despite a busy year ahead, Shaw said he expects to keep his company on the small side.

“I feel comfortable where we’re at now,” he said

Shaw said his company is set to work on several projects this year, including a handful of custom homes that will keep everyone in the company busy for some time to come.

But, Shaw said, Vail Mountain’s one-week extension of the ski season will set back some work.

“We’ve been bumped back to (April 18) on a few things, he said.

With crews either busy or waiting to start, here’s a look at just some of the projects set for Vail and Avon this year:


• The biggest project is construction of a new underpass beneath Interstate 70 between the main and West Vail interchanges. That project is expected to last until late 2017.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is also building a new truck chain-up station in East Vail.

• In East Vail, the town of Vail will essentially rebuild Booth Creek Park.

• Vail Valley Medical Center continues work on an expansion of the hospital’s west wing.

• Work continues on the Lions Ridge Apartments, the eastern half of the Timber Ridge property.

• The town will close the pedestrian bridge at Ford Park for repairs. Work starts in May and is expected to last until mid-June.

• Slifer Plaza, between the Vail Village Transportation Center and Covered Bridge, is set for a lot of work, including repair and replacement of storm sewer lines.

• In Vail Village, a new restaurant will be built at the Gorsuch Building and Pepi’s Bar is expanding.

• Work continues on the clubhouse at the Vail Golf Club. The course will be open for the season.

• In Lionshead Village, there’s a repair project at the Arrabelle at Vail Square and the Vail Spa building will see an extensive exterior remodel.

• A new skate park between the decks of the Lionshead parking structure will be finished by June.

• Site work will begin at the site of the new Chamonix residential neighborhood, roughly behind the West Vail fire station.

• Vail Cascade will begin a roughly $35 million renovation project. That work is expected to finish by the time the 2016-17 ski season starts.


• Bus shelters will be installed at the Stonebridge Drive, City Market, Buffalo Ridge and Avon Elementary School stops.

• Restrooms at Nottingham Park will be remodeled.

• The town will refurbish the water slide at the Avon Recreation Center. Several other play features will also be replaced.

• Pedestrian improvements are planned at the town’s main I-70 interchange.

• A bicycle climbing lane will be built on Metcalf Road between Nottingham Road and Wildwood Road. Construction is set for June and July.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, or @scottnmiller.

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