About 100 Union Pacific railroad workers are lodging and spending money in Grand County as they replace 44,400 ties on the rail line that runs between Winter Park and Kremmling, said Mark David, public information officer for Union Pacific. The expected project completion date is the end of June, he said.
Crews are staying in area hotels and motels, and workers buy meals and purchase gas for vehicles.
The 56-mile project includes spreading 24,900 tons of rock ballast to help provide a more stable roadbed on the rail line, as well as making longer than a half-mile of improvements in tunnels.
James Leveridge, general manager of The Pinnacle Lodge, is having a good June thanks to the crews who spend 8 to 10 days at his hotel, leave for the same amount of time, then return, he said. Crews left just in time for Ride the Rockies cyclists, who also filled the lodge.
"The impact from the crews staying at The Pinnacle has allowed us to beat our three-year average," he said.
As an additional benefit to the community, Leveridge was able to hire employees earlier than normal to assist with the increase occupancy during the shoulder season.
- Kristen Lodge can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.