CDOT announces construction team to build the  US 550/160 Connection Project in SW Colorado

December 23, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado - Project to break ground next spring, 2020

The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced the selection of the team of Lawrence Construction Co. and RS&H, Inc. for the design and construction of the $98.6 million US 550/160 Connection South Design-Build Project just south of Durango. Both companies are from the Denver area. 

CDOT Executive Director, Shoshana Lew stated, “We are able to fund this project thanks to significant collaboration efforts. Commitments from our state legislature, local government agencies and private entities helped us to leverage those dollars to successfully garner a federal grant. It shows the kinds of partnerships we need to get major capital projects off the ground.”   

Lawrence Construction and RS&H, Inc. were selected from two design-build teams that submitted proposals in October. CDOT evaluated the proposals based on the desired outcomes and the commitment to the project goals:

  • maximize project scope

  • an integrated approach to earthwork

  • a strong design-build team

  • quality design and construction

  • corridor aesthetics

“We are extremely excited to have a team selected for this transportation improvement project,” said CDOT Regional Transportation Director, Mike McVaugh. “This project will provide many benefits to southwest Colorado. It will not only make our transportation system safer and more efficient, but through this project we can also support economic development and job growth.”

Project Director David Valentinelli added that while CDOT identified specific work that was required for the project, it was also important to select a team that would provide additional value. 

“We were looking for a team that could stretch our funding as far as possible,” explained Valentinelli. “The selected team, of Lawrence Construction and RS&H, Inc. went above and beyond to identify innovative methods to ensure that additional improvements will be made to greatly improve this busy corridor and regional crossroads.”

The US 550/160 Connection South Project will greatly enhance safety for both private passenger and commercial vehicles. The connection will realign US 550 directly into the existing US 160 interchange near Grandview, eliminating the steep and curved grade of the current US 550 Farmington Hill. This realignment will eliminate the need for the existing light signal at the base of US 550 Farmington Hill, reducing intersection crashes. US 550 will be widened with additional lanes and shoulders south of Farmington Hill. As well, the project will include other features such as wildlife underpass crossings and deer fencing which will reduce animal-vehicle collisions.

Once a contract with Lawrence Construction and RS&H, Inc. has been finalized, a Notice to Proceed will be issued and design work will get underway. Construction of the project is expected to begin this coming spring, 2020, with a two-and-a-half to three-year timeline.

The other team of contractors vying for the project were SEMA Construction, Inc. and Wilson & Company, of Centennial, CO.



Earlier this year, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.



CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated inter-regional express service. Governor Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s multimodal mobility options.