CDOT Rockfall Mitigation on SH 145 at Ophir

August 14, 2013 - TRAFFIC ADVISORY - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Mon, Tues, expect up to 1-hour closures on SH 145 and San Miguel CR 63L; then just single-lane, alternating traffic on SH 145 through August.

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation and rockfall contractor Yenter Companies will conduct preventative rockfall mitigation at a site above SH 145 at Ophir, south of Telluride between mile markers 64 and 65.

The work will involve rock scaling (bringing rocks down by hand and/or pry bar) on Monday and Tuesday, August 19 and 20. Then through at least the end of August, crews will be clearing the ditch of rock debris, replacing the concrete rockfall barrier and installing a rockfall fence along the barrier to capture rocks that may otherwise have bounced over the barrier and onto the roadway.

TRAVEL IMPACTS: On Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., during the rock scaling work, traffic will be stopped in both directions on SH 145, as well as on San Miguel CR 63L and Ames Road, for up to one hour at a time. Specifically, motorists will not be able to access Ames Road/Lake Fork Junction Road from CR 63L from either direction during the closure periods. Traffic will be cleared at all stop points following the closure periods. After scaling is complete, motorists can expect single-lane, alternating traffic on SH 145 only (not the county road), from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for ditch, barrier and fence work.

For information on CDOT projects statewide, the public may log on to or call 511. Better yet, sign up for highway updates by going to and choosing the green cell phone icon in the upper right corner. Thank you for goingSlow for the Cone Zone!

CDOT’s Rockfall Program

The Colorado Rockfall Hazard Rating System (CRHRS) sites are ordered in funding priority from 1, which has the highest combination of hazard and risk, to 756 which has the lowest. To determine which sites are of high priority, several factors are analyzed including slope profile, geological characteristics and traffic data.

The rockfall program, 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 just $750,000 for projects statewide. Since that time, funding for the Rockfall Program steadily increased to accommodate rising construction costs and allow for additional mitigation across the state. In recent years, the program was receiving $3 to $5 million per year, and about $7 million during this current construction season—which includes $2 million in State Transportation Commission contingency funds to help supplement projects statewide.

Since the program began, about 70 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 rockfall and other activity.