CDOT Begins Culvert Replacement Project on US 24 North of Leadville

August 13, 2012 - UPCOMING CONSTRUCTION PROJECT - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Project will replace undersized structures to help prevent roadway flooding.

LAKE COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has started a culvert replacement project on US 24 north of Leadville from mile marker (MM) 169 to MM 170.7, which is approximately a 1.7 mile stretch south of Tennessee Pass. The project is expected to last until November 2012.

In order to convey drainage under US 24 more effectively, which will protect the highway from future flooding, CDOT will be replacing seven culverts, with five circular culverts and two box culverts. The two larger box culverts will be installed at Tennessee Creek and East Tennessee Creek. Crews will also make significant shouldering and embankment improvements to the highway to bring them up to current standards. The culverts that are being replaced are severely undersized for the area’s water flow patterns and/or in poor condition, which means that the highway is at risk for flooding during an intense storm.

CDOT has made every effort to minimize the impacts of the project to the travelling public, and has made design innovations to expedite the time required to construct the culverts by using as many pre-cast structures as possible (rather than creating the structures on site and waiting for them to cure), and substituting a material called flow fill for dirt to backfill excavations, which is a faster process and can prevent future dips in the road. Work hours have also been adjusted (during periods without overnight closures) to reduce delays for morning commuters.

Work will take place on the projects Mondays through Fridays from roughly 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The speed limit will be reduced in the area from 55 MPH to 30 MPH and motorists may experience delays of up to 10 minutes as there will be closures through the work zone. The construction of the two box culverts will require 24-hour closures for up to nine weeks with a traffic signal in place to control one-way traffic. The specific dates and times of the 24-hour closures will be forthcoming, and oversize restrictions are anticipated. Motorists are reminded to obey all road signs and flaggers, and to drive Slow for the Cone Zone throughout both work zones.

Northern Colorado Constructors, Inc. is the contractor for this $1.5 million project.

Because the area experiences heavy commuter traffic, weekly lane closure and construction updates for the project will be posted at, advertisements will be included in the Herald Democrat and Vail Daily newspapers, and email updates will be sent weekly to those who subscribe to them via the project website. To receive other real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at