Two Rock Fall Mitigation Projects Set for Southwest Colorado

SOUTHWEST COLORADO—The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be working on two rock fall maintenance projects in Archuleta and La Plata Counties over the next two weeks.


Beginning Monday, July 25 and continuing through the end of the week, crews will be working on US Highway 160 between Bayfield and Pagosa Springs. The specific area is in Archuleta County, just east of Yellow Jacket Pass (mile point 116). On the north side of the road, large rocks and debris have come loose and lodged underneath the barrier netting that was originally placed on the hillside. Crews will use a crane to lift and shake the netting to release the rocks and boulders. The netting will be replaced as well as new netting installed.

"The cable netting has done its job," said CDOT engineer Kevin Curry. "The barrier has prevented rocks from coming down onto the roadway. But we now need to do a little maintenance and clean out debris from underneath the netting."

US 160 is a three-lane road at this location. Therefore, crews will be able to work in the far outside lane closest to the hillside. Two-lane traffic will be maintained, however, occasional stops and delays may be necessary when heavy equipment is being moved. Motorists are urged to use caution, and watch for maintenance crews and signage.


Crews will work the following week for two days, August 1 and 2, at an area in La Plata County, just south of Durango on Colorado Highway (CO) 3. The shale cliff on the east side of CO 3 also was previously mitigated with the use of netting. Large boulders have fallen and are trapped on top of the steel posts which hold up the netting. A crane will be used to open up the netting and attempt to allow the boulders to fall.

Traffic on CO 3 will encounter some temporary closures periodically over the course of the two-day project. Electronic signs will advise motorists of traffic stops and delays. Motorists may want to consider alternate routes, and are urged to use caution and watch for maintenance crews and signage.