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Two CDOT road projects wrap up in Southwest Colorado

Road construction took place through the summer and fall in Cortez. (Courtesy Colorado Department of Transportation)
Highways improved in Cortez, Dolores, Rico and Durango

Two road construction projects have been completed in the area, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

One project involved road repaving and pedestrian upgrades on U.S. Highway 160 in Cortez, and Colorado 145 in Dolores and Rico. The project began in March and finished on time Oct. 22, said Nancy Shanks, project information officer.

The contract for the project was awarded to Oldcastle SW Group for $6.2 million, according to the CDOT website.

The second project, which ran concurrently with the first, was for concrete repairs on U.S. 160 in Cortez and Durango. The project began in May and finished on time Oct. 30.

The contract for concrete project on U.S. 160 and US. 491 in Cortez and Durango was awarded to Interstate Improvement Inc. for $5 million according to the CDOT website.

In Durango, concrete rehabilitation took place on U.S. Highway 160 west of Durango. In Cortez, it took place on U.S. 160 through downtown, at the County Road G intersection, and on U.S. Highway 491 in west Cortez.

“We have wrapped up theses two projects, and met the October deadline,” said project public information manager Nancy Shanks. “Thank you all very much for your patience throughout. The impact on businesses is always challenging, and we had some weather delays.”

The repaving included Colorado Highway 145 through Dolores and Rico and on U.S. Highway 160 east and south of Cortez.

Highway striping was part of a Colorado Department of Transportation project in Montezuma and La Plata counties. (Courtesy Colorado Department of Transportation)

The heater repave method was used, which heats, mixes and recycles the top 1.5 inches of existing asphalt. The material was laid back down and followed with an application of 1.5 inches of new asphalt.

The work involved leveling the asphalt at the gutter edges and across the full roadway width along certain roadway segments, where necessary. The process has created a smoother driving surface. Curb ramps were removed and replaced or newly constructed, through each town, at 16 intersections.

Pedestrian ramps were improved as part of a project by Colorado Department of Transportation. (Courtesy Colorado Department of Transportation)

The concrete rehabilitation project on U.S. 160 in Cortez and Durango included replacing and patching damaged concrete pavement, application of a diamond grinding process to rehabilitate the surface of existing concrete, clearing and resealing concrete joints and cracks, cross-stitching (a process to strengthen longitudinal cracks in concrete slabs), and installing inlaid striping and traffic markings.

Maintenance on the concrete surface of the highway provides several key benefits to travelers and Colorado taxpayers, said Kevin Curry, CDOT program engineer.

“Not only does the rehabilitation process restore and improve the roadway for mobility and safety, it also gives 15 to 20 more years of life to the existing concrete,” he said. “The rehabilitation of the concrete helps us avoid reconstruction of the highway, ultimately bringing long-term savings to state taxpayers, for potentially 20 years. A complete rebuild of the highway could likely have cost tens of millions of dollars.”

Durango project delayed

The Camino del Rio road project in Durango will continue beyond the Dec. 15 deadline, said CDOT public information officer Lisa Schwantes. It began Aug. 9.

Multiple factors led to delays, she said. Geology did not make it possible to bore underneath the highway as planned, so more time-consuming trenching is occurring instead.

COVID infections among the crew contributed delays, as did weather.

When winter conditions prevent stop work this year, the project will continue into the 2022 road construction season, Schwantes said.

The contract for Camino del Rio road project in Durango was awarded to Morton Electric for $5.4 million.

A highway improvement project in Cortez included bicycle safety. (Courtesy Colorado Department of Transportation)