FASTER-Funded Rockfall Project on SH 82 Now Complete

January 11, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - PITKIN COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Rocksolid Solutions just completed a project to mitigate the potential for rockfall in the Shale Bluffs area (up-valley from Snowmass Canyon).

Crews have wrapped up work at mile marker 35 to 36, just up-valley from the intersection of Brush Creek Road. The project began in September and the completion date was extended from November to January, due to numerous days of adverse weather, as well as some extra mitigation features added to the project by CDOT.

The Department added 75,000 square feet of wire mesh, which was placed on the slope under the cable netting. The mesh has smaller openings designed to keep smaller rocks and debris from sloughing off the slope, as routinely happened in this area. The project also repaired a damaged concrete retaining wall panel alongside the down-valley lanes.

Among the other work items completed during this safety-improvement project were:

  • Rock scaling:  bringing loose rock material down by hand or machine)
  • Rock anchoring:  drilling, inserting and grouting nearly 400 2.5-inch diameter steel bars into hillside—typically 8 to 10 feet long—which translates to about 3,000 linear feet of depth drilled)
  • Installation:  approximately 80,000 square feet of steel cable netting/mesh (this is comprised of nearly 50 miles of ½ inch galvanized steel cable)
  • Cleaning:  existing accumulated rock debris behind barrier
  • Repairing:  patching of existing concrete barrier and roadway, where necessary

The project was funded with the following: $1.2 million in FASTER funding (Senate Bill 108 - Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) and $350,000 from CDOT’s Rockfall Program.

Each fiscal year, CDOT receives about $4.3 million for rockfall mitigation projects, which generally allows for mitigation at three to four sites statewide. FASTER Safety funds enabled CDOT to accelerate a few of the projects, including this one at Shale Bluffs.

For information on other CDOT projects, the public may call 511 or log onto CDOT’s traveler information web site at