State Highway 3 Rockfall Work Extended

November 10, 2014 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - State Highway 3 rockfall mitigation work is in the final stages.

State Highway 3 rockfall mitigation work is in the final stages. Since August 21, 2014, crews have completed rock scaling, removed 5,000 cubic yards of material, installed 422 rock anchors and have begun to place rockfall protection netting.

Work is now expected to extend into December 2014. While rain caused just two days of work suspension, the wet weather slowed scaling progress as climbing, anchoring and bringing rock down on the wet and muddy slope were all made more difficult. In addition, the contractor expected to bring its full rockfall team to this location in October, but had an unforeseen project extension in a neighboring state. Some additional crews are on site working daylight to dark, including Saturdays, to complete the work as quickly as possible. More crew members will arrive the first week of December to further expedite completion.

“Our contract with TK Construction allows them to have State Highway 3 closed through December 19,” CDOT Resident Engineer Steven Cross said. “Their expectation was to finish up by November 18, but sometimes these types of circumstances change the schedule.” The closure may not last through to December 19, but given the setback, crews felt it necessary to announce the latest date possible.”

Project Background:  On Thursday, August 21, 2014, the Colorado Department of Transportation began a rockfall mitigation project on State Highway (SH) 3 in Durango and La Plata County. The approximately .7-mile project work zone lies between the junction with US 160/550 and Sawmill Road (south).

This project will reduce the risk of rockfall in this area, as well as provide measures to capture some material in the event of rockfall. The work is anticipated to be complete in December 2014, with a possibility for some continued work in spring 2015. The full project—contracted to TK Construction for $1.56 million*—also includes rockfall mitigation (to begin in early 2015) on SH 145 just south of Telluride.

Questions? Comments?  The best way to stay up to date on project progress and impacts is to sign up for email and wireless (text) alerts. Go to CDOT’s web site at and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Enter your information and choose “SH 3 Durango Rockfall” under the “Projects” list. The public may also call the project information line at (970) 759-1030 or write to [email protected].

*This safety project is receiving funding from RAMP, Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships. RAMP is better coordinating project expenditures and available funding. Under the RAMP program, CDOT will fund multi-year projects based on year of expenditure, rather than saving for the full amount of a project before construction begins. For more information, including a list of RAMP project requests, please see our website: