The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin pavement surface improvements of several stretches of highways in Cortez, Dolores and Rico. Crews will mobilize next week. The project will also upgrade several ramps at select intersections to meet mandated standards by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Many US and state highways run through the center of rural communities, like these three southwest Colorado towns,” said Julie Constan, regional transportation director for Southwest Colorado, in a news release Wednesday. “Improving the surfaces of these roadways will benefit each community’s business districts and add safety for motorists. This project also will ensure that current federal ADA standards are met and maintained on ramps for accessibility and to enhance pedestrian safety.”
According to a press release, the road surface work will include repaving process to sections of Colorado Highway 145 through Dolores and Rico and on U.S. Highway 160 east and south of Cortez. The resurfacing method, or heater repave treatment, will heat, mix and recycle the top 1.5 inches of existing asphalt. The material is laid back down and followed with an application of 1.5 inches of new asphalt. The work will involve planning or leveling the asphalt at the gutter edges and across the full roadway width along certain roadway segments where necessary. The process creates a smoother driving surface. ADA curb ramps will be removed and replaced, or newly constructed, through each town, at 16 intersections.
The road projects are:
South Cortez: The heater repaving process will be done from about a half mile south of CR G to McElmo Street. Traffic control will be set up between mile points 34.3 and 37.5 The repaving will skip over the intersection of US 160 and CR G, which is surfaced in concrete. The bridge deck at McElmo Creek (MP 35.7) will be repaired.
To accommodate the afternoon peak travel period, there will be no lane closures along this stretch between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
East Cortez: Heater repaving and ADA ramp upgrades will be done east and west of the Colorado 145 junction, between Mildred Street and the Fun Center (mileposts 38.5-41.5). There will be no lane closures in either direction between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ADA ramp work will completed at the following six intersections: E. Roger Smith Avenue, N. Edith Street, S. Veach Street, N. Texas Street, Cactus Street and Trinity Avenue.
East Cortez: Heater repaving will be done along a short section of Colorado 145 from the intersection of U.S. 160 south for about 200 feet (mileposts 0-.25).
Dolores: Heater repaving from east of the Colorado 184 junction (to Mancos) north through the town of Dolores (mileposts 8.9-13.2) and north-side ADA ramp upgrades at the following eight intersections: Second Street through Eighth Street and 11th Street ADA ramps on the north side of these intersections will be upgraded; a previous project has upgraded those on the south side.
Rico: The heater repave will go through the town (mileposts 45.7-48), and ADA ramps will be constructed at the intersections of E. Mantz and E. Campbell streets, on both sides.
The project will begin on U.S. 160 and Colorado 145 with ADA ramp removal and reconstruction through all three towns, somewhat simultaneously. While ramp work is underway in these towns, there will likely be single-lane closures at the intersection under construction. Pedestrians will encounter full-time sidewalk closures for a period of several days to a week, as necessary for ramp removal, reconstruction and concrete cure time. Access to businesses and residences will be maintained, but may be temporarily altered during construction at a given intersection.
On sections of highway where the repaving work is underway, motorists will encounter single-lane, alternating traffic with possible 15-20 minute delays, depending upon traffic volumes. Speed limits will be lowered through work zones and double fines for traffic infractions will be enforced.
There will be no work and no travel impacts over the following holiday time periods/weekends: Memorial Day, May 28 at noon through June 1; Independence Day, July 2 at noon through July 6; and Labor Day, Sept. 3 at noon through Sept. 7