CDOT Continues Rock Scaling on US 40 Mt. Harris Canyon

March 29, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Contractor will be on site starting Thursday, expect delays.

ROUTT COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation rock scaling work on US 40 in Mt. Harris Canyon will be back underway, with some reinforcements from rockfall contractor Yenter Companies.  CDOT maintenance crews had completed more than five days of scaling (bringing rocks down by hand) in the area and Yenter crews will continue this work, starting this Thursday, March 31. The cost of this work, which will continue in to next week, is $24,800.

This week, scaling by hand and with the use of airbags will be done on Thursday and Friday and will continue the next week (further work item details will be sent later this week). Project work will also depend upon weather, particularly if conditions prohibit traffic stops or slope access.

TRAVEL IMPACTS: Between MP 114 and 116 (between Hayden and Steamboat Springs), crews will meet at the site Thursday morning at 8 AM. More specific information regarding work details, work hours and project duration will be sent by Thursday afternoon. Motorists should, however, plan for some traffic holds and single-lane, alternating traffic with delays throughout Thursday and Friday, and starting again next Tuesday and continuing through the week. CDOT thanks motorists for going “Slow for the Cone Zone!”

For information on other CDOT projects, the public may call 511 or log onto CDOT’s traveler information web site at Please sign up for e-mail or text messages on highway conditions/information:

Rockfall in Colorado:

CDOT’s Rockfall Program receives about $4 million for rockfall mitigation projects each year, which generally allows for mitigation at three to four sites statewide.

There will also be three other rockfall mitigation projects that will be funded with fiscal year 2011 funds.

  • I-70 at Georgetown Hill: The $1.4 million project will continue rockfall mitigation at one of the state’s most active sites by installing rockfall fences, and draped rockfall netting.  Construction is expected to begin late fall.
  • I-70 in Glenwood Canyon: Crews will continue to repair and improve existing rockfall fences in Glenwood Canyon. This $600,000 project is scheduled to begin this summer.
  • SH 133 over McClure Pass: CDOT is evaluating this site to determine mitigation activities, which could include rock scaling, blasting and installation of rockfall netting. This estimated $1.2 million project will likely begin in spring or summer of 2011.

The rockfall program, which started in 1996, was created to track rockfall information, implement a rating system and mitigate potential hazardous areas. When the program first began, CDOT received only $750,000 for mitigation statewide. Over the last 10 years, funding for the Rockfall Program has quadrupled to $3 to $4 million a year to accommodate rising construction costs and to allow for additional mitigation across the state.

To determine which sites are of high priority, several factors are analyzed including slope profile, geological characteristics and traffic statistics. This information is then incorporated into the Colorado Rockfall Hazard Rating System (CRHRS) and sites are then prioritized and selected based on their rating.

Since the program began, about 60 sites have been mitigated through CDOT’s Rockfall Program. CDOT rockfall specialists also provide additional assistance at nearly 30-40 locations statewide each year in response to rockfalls and other activity.