Rock blasting requires full closure of SH 133 on Thursday next week

September 3, 2015 - Northwest Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - SH 133 will be closed on September 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. near Somerset

GUNNISON COUNTY/SOMERSET/PAONIA-On Thursday, September 10, SH 133 between MM 24 and 25.5, will be closed for five hours for rockfall work, weather permitting. The full closures will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Traffic must be held during this safety-critical rockfall work. During full closures, 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.

Additional five-hour blast closures are anticipated on September 14 and 17. Closure dates will be indicated on variable message boards along the corridor, and the project hotline in advance of the work. CDOT is coordinating with emergency first responders and urges motorists to plan alternate routes during full 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 full closures. Flaggers will be present at the SH 133 / CR 12 intersection to maintain access south of the work zone when full closures are in place.

PROJECT BACKGROUND: On Monday, August 31, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Kissner General Contractors, Inc. restarted a rockfall mitigation project on State Highway 133 in Gunnison County, seven 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.

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.

Similar to work performed earlier this summer by the previous contractor, 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 7 p.m. Monday through Friday until the project is complete. Crews also anticipate working Saturdays in September to expedite construction this season. During working hours, a 12-foot width restriction will be in place.

The project is now anticipated to be complete in December 2015.

CDOT would like to remind motorists to Slow for the Cone Zone. Fines will be doubled within the work zone.

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 envelope icon on the bottom right corner 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].

Or, to see CDOT’s lane closure reports for projects statewide, visit Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” us on Facebook. Download the free CDOT Mobile App by texting “CDOT” to 25827 or search CDOT Mobile in your App Store.