The Colorado Department of Transportation is extending Powers road for about five miles. And that puts the road right though Preble’s Mouse Territory. So crews have to hurry and finsih the first phase of work before the rare mouse comes out of hibernation.
This project expands Powers north, to Briargate Parkway, by next year. It also extends Highway 83 by 2005. C-DOT Project Engineer Chris Smith says, “It’s a $15 million construction project. So the man power is 50 to 100 people when we get moving in the summer.”
When the Preble’s Mice emerge from hibernation in a few weeks, there will be 30 foot columns and a 450 foot bridge that will span Kettle Creek.
Biologists estimate there are fewer thatn two Preble’s Mice per mile along Pine Creek. But they prefer Kettle Creek wher ethe population is closer to 12 per mile.
And since the mouse is so rare, by law, C-DOT must do everything it can to protect it’s habitat. After May 1st, C-DOT can only work up above the roadway and out of the mouse habitat. And when it’s all complete C-DOT must set aside 180 acres of open space west of Powers for the threatened species.