10-Day Closure of CO 144 South of Orchard set for Flood Repairs

Aug. 21, 2018 -

MORGAN COUNTY—Starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, crews will close Colorado Highway 144 south of the community of Orchard for approximately 10 days as crews build a section of the realigned highway where it meets the old pavement.

The highway will be closed to all traffic between County Road V and the South Platte River, which is approximately 1,000 feet south of County Road W.7.


The schedule is weather-dependent and subject to change. Any changes to the closure date will be posted on the project website, where you can also find a map for the detour route, US 34 and CO 39 through the community of Goodrich (approximately 15 miles):

  1. Travel north to Orchard/Weldona.
  2. Take eastbound US Highway 34.
  3. Turn north (left) on CO 39.
  4. Turn west (left) on CO 144
  5. Travel south to US 34/Interstate 76/the Town of Wiggins.
  6. Take CO 144 east from Orchard.
  7. Turn south (right) on CO 39.

When the highway reopens, motorists will be driving on the new alignment. Through October, motorists on CO 144 will notice construction activity between mile points (MP) 5.1 and 6.7. After the full closure, motorists should expect lane closures with alternating traffic and intermittent flagging.

Project Info

Through November, crews are completing flood repairs on CO 144 between MP 5.1 – 6.7—approximately two miles north of US 34. CDOT and contractor partner Castle Rock Construction Company are reconstructing 1.6 miles of two-lane highway near the community of Orchard in Morgan County with an improved design intended to withstand future flood events.

The project realigns CO 144 further away from the South Platte River and brings the highway up to current design standards. Improvements include embankment and drainage infrastructure to reduce future flood impacts. The new alignment is designed for a 60 mph design speed and will smooth out existing horizontal curves to improve safety.

The highway was damaged during the September 2013 flood event and again in spring 2015. Flood waters exceeded the banks of the South Platte River eventually rising enough to overtop the roadway, which weakened the pavement. The highway was entirely washed out in some sections. CO 144 was closed for nearly two months in late 2013, until temporary repairs were complete. The highway was also closed in 2015 for several days when water from the South Platte River again threatened the roadway.