Rock blasting requires full closure of SH 133 on Friday

June 15, 2015 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - SH 133 will be closed approximately seven miles east of Somerset (north of CR 12) on June 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

GUNNISON COUNTY-On Friday, June 19, SH 133 between MM 24 and 25.5, will be closed for five hours for rockfall work. The full closure will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Traffic must be held during this safety-critical rockfall work. During the closure, crews will perform trim blasting operations, which includes both loading and detonating controlled explosives. Once the blasting is complete, additional scaling and clean-up are required before the highway can reopen under single-lane alternating traffic conditions. CDOT is coordinating with emergency first responders and urges motorists to plan alternate routes during the closure.

Given the scope of the rockfall mitigation required along this section of highway, blasting must proceed on Friday in order for future blasting and scaling to proceed on schedule. Weather impacts rockfall mitigation work, ranging from the crews ability to work the slope to conditions along the haul routes and at the receiving rock yard. Future blast closures are scheduled to occur Monday through Thursday. Two additional five-hour blasting closures are scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 and Monday, June 29. The contractor will make every effort to avoid future Friday closures.

CR 12, which provides access to Crested Butte over Kebler Pass, will only be accessible from the south side of the work zone via Somerset during the full closure. Flaggers will be present at the SH 133 / CR 12 intersection to maintain access south of the work zone.

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: SH 133 continues to be subject to 20-minute traffic holds with single-lane alternating traffic from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This Friday, traffic holds and single-lane alternating traffic will occur from 7 a.m to 11 a.m. before the full closure and again from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. CDOT would like to remind motorists to Slow for the Cone Zone. Fines will be doubled within the work zone.


The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and their contractor partner, TK Construction of Grand Junction, are in the middle of a rockfall mitigation project on State Highway 133 in Gunnison County, 12 miles east of Somerset. The approximately 1½-mile work zone (MM 24 to 25.5) is adjacent to the south end of the Paonia Reservoir.

The project will require up to 20-minute traffic holds with single-lane alternating traffic on SH 133. Traffic control will be in place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until the project is complete. No weekend work is anticipated at this time. Delays are expected. During working hours, an 11-foot width restriction will be in place.

This project will reduce the risk of rockfall in the area, as well as provide measures to capture some material in the event of rockfall. Work includes performing trim blasting, rock scaling, and rock reinforcement. Crews will install anchored wire mesh, a ground nailed wall, ditch improvements and erosion control.

This summer, approximately seven days of blasting will require intermittent full closure of the highway for up to five hours at a time. In advance of the work, multiple signs will indicate dates and times of the scheduled closure. The highway will reopen to traffic every evening.

Depending on weather, the project is anticipated to be complete in October 2015. The project was awarded to TK Construction for $2.73 million.

The best way to stay up to date on travel impacts during the project is to sign up for email alerts. Go to and click on the green cell phone icon in the center of the page. Enter your information and choose ‘SH 133 Paonia Reservoir Rockfall’ under the ‘Projects’ list. If you have questions or concerns, please call the project information line (970-417-8150) or send an email to: [email protected].