Volume 105, Number 40 - October 2, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
by Stephen Crane
Construction on the BloomField subdivision is well under way, and developer Matt Harber foresees that vertical construction should begin by next spring.
“We’re kind of playing catch up a little bit,” said Harber. “So this initial stuff will probably go up pretty fast, and then after that, it’ll kind of be a more balanced approach.”
Anticipating 10 to 15 years before full build-out, Harber had his 231-acre site approved by the Pinedale Town Council for annexation in February. And the months since the approval have been productive for the developer.
The first obstacle for Harber to overcome was the groundwater that saturates the area, which usually lurks between two and six feet below the surface.
“They put in all these well points,” said Harber. “And they’ve got all these pumps running constantly, sucking the water down.”
Two ponds, which will be permanent features of the development, were dug this past winter, and their water levels have been dropping throughout the summer, indicating that progress is being made on the groundwater. This has allowed construction to begin on the roadways that will meander through the subdivision. The first phase of that road construction will be Bloomfield Avenue, which is the main entrance running up to the future elementary school at the north end of the property, as well as a loop around the mobile home park.
“(Bloomfield Avenue), the way it’s lined up, when you’re driving up it, you’re looking straight up into the mountains,” Harber added. “And a lot of the roads are positioned to take advantage of the views around here.”
When all the roads are complete, at least eight entryways will provide access to the subdivision, including two off of Hwy 191, three off of Ehman Lane, at least two on the east end and one to the north.
Currently, the four-lane main entrance, just west of the future Hampton Inn, is being prepared for paving, and will have a landscaped median running down the center.
“We’re hoping to actually have these roads complete before the end of this construction season,” said Harber. “But there again, that’s all going to be based on the weather.”
Once the necessary infrastructure is in place, including water and sewer, curb and gutter, roads and sidewalk, then vertical construction can begin.
Harber must also complete a stream restoration project for Barber Creek, which will help transform the creek from an irrigation ditch, which has been its usage for over half a century, into its original form as a meandering, natural creek.
“What we’re doing with it is beautify it, restore it, and turn it into an amenity for the development,” said Harber. “We’ve also got some wetlands that we’re preserving and then the flood plain also, so it’s all part of a project that’s been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.”
When the restoration project is complete, it will provide a little over 20 acres of open space running the length of the development, a “green belt” that will be 100 to 140 feet wide. The two ponds will also help keep the water from Barber Creek warm during the winter months so that it continues running. The pond at the south end of the property will be in close proximity to the 50 acres of space that have been allotted for commercial development, just off the highway. The other pond is toward the north end of the property and is considerably larger than the other. If approval is given for a new community center, it will be situated just west of the larger pond.
And the new elementary school will be located on a 20-acre lot farther to the northwest of the pond. The school also has the opportunity to expand that property by an additional 18 acres if the need should arise. But the school will be part of the first phase of vertical building next year, along with the commercial development and the mobile home park, which will be followed by townhouses and multi-family condominiums. Demand will dictate the size and expanse of construction.
In the meantime, construction of infrastructure continues on the project, and paving is just around the corner.
“It’ll take a lot to get there,” said Harber. “I mean, this is the biggest development to happen here. But I’m excited for it.”
Photo credits: Stephen Crane
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