News

Highway surface treatment set for US 160, Cortez to Mancos Hill

May 9, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado - Short section of CO 145 to also receive treatment  

MONTEZUMA COUNTY The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor United Companies from Grand Junction, CO will begin a project on Wednesday, May 29 following the Memorial Day holiday (not May 20 as previously announced). to provide maintenance surface treatments to US Highway 160 east of Cortez and to a short section of CO Highway 145. The project will enhance safety for the traveling public, providing a smoother surface for vehicles and a newly striped highway offering better visibility for drivers. These improvements are part of CDOT’s statewide initiate for Whole System. Whole Safety.   

Specifically, the work zone will stretch for approximately 22 miles on US 160 between mile point 40, near the junction with CO 145, and MP 61.85, at the top of Mancos Hill, the Montezuma/La Plata county line. This will include the ramps and bridge deck on the Mesa Verde interchange and the section through the town of Mancos. The work zone on CO 145 begins at MP 0, at the US 160 junction, and extends north to MP 1.34, to the end of the highway’s curb/gutter section.

"A surface treatment is a cost effective way to increase safety and improve the overall condition of this critical southwest Colorado highway," said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. " This is a very important corridor connecting local communities east and west, as well as our out-of-state visitors to our cultural resources like Mesa Verde National Park."

The project is expected to take 2-3 months to complete. The $2.6 million contracted work, a cost of about $111,588 per mile, will make significant improvement to the road surface and enhance safety for motorists including the following:

  • CHIP SEAL: The chip seal process distributes small rocks over hot emulsified asphalt material, then rolled to create a thin paved surface. A final protective sealant or fog is applied. A chip seal application, like micro-surfacing below, protects and prolongs the surface of a roadway that is in good to fair condition and is a cost-effective method used for renewing the road surface and sealing minor cracks and other imperfections thus preserving the asphalt mat below from oxidation and other physical degradation. CDOT chose a smaller rock chip (⅜”-) than the regular sized chip (½”-) to provide a smoother surface for the bicycling community.

  • MICRO-SURFACING: Micro-surfacing is a thin, strong layer of asphalt emulsion blended with finely crushed stone and cement. This application will be done in certain sections (near the Sleeping Ute Mountain Rest Area and east of Mancos) to test its viability as a maintenance surface treatment along with the combination of the chip seal. This process will provide a double armor of thin surface treatments and will be monitored over the next few years by CDOT staff for performance and durability.

  • INLAID PAVEMENT MARKINGS: Inlaying will occur prior to the chip seal application. After the chip seal and fog have been applied, pavement markings (crosswalks, arrows, stop bars and other symbols) will be placed into the previously ground/inlaid locations.

  • ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS: Alternative double chip seal treatments along four ¼ mile test sections near the Sleeping Ute Mountain Rest Area to test the viability of varying shot rates and chip sizes of which will be monitored over the next few years by CDOT staff for performance and durability.

  • NEW STRIPING: Highway striping (post chip seal and micro-surfacing) will be painted on the new surfaces of the highway for all lane lines. The center yellow line and stripes will be painted four inches wide, while the outer white lines near the shoulder will be painted a wider six inches providing a higher illumination and brighter stripe, especially when drivers are traveling at night.

TRAVEL IMPACTS: Through to the project’s anticipated completion in August 2019, crews will make every effort to maintain two-way travel as much as possible, where work zones have ample lanes and width for this traffic configuration. Motorists can also expect some single-lane, alternating traffic at times, as well as a speed limit reduction. Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some weekend work possible. Motorists are urged to drive with care through the work zones and watch for workers and equipment. Please avoid distractions while traveling through the work areas, maintain an ample following distance and obey the lowered speed limit. Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone!

When driving through chip seal surface treatment projects, motorists are urged to:

  • Slow down ― Higher speeds can cause loose stones to scatter and damage vehicle paint and windshields. Loose stones can be scattered even by oncoming traffic traveling in the opposite direction.

  • Increase the distance between vehicles ― Space between you and other vehicles will help reduce damage caused by loose stones.

  • Follow work zone signage ― Consider the safety of other motorists and the safety of the work crew when traveling through the project construction zone.

  • Cyclists, use caution ― Bicyclists and motorcyclists should use extreme caution during the entirety of the project.

PROJECT INFORMATION: Those with questions or comments may contact the project information manager at (970) 560-6104 or [email protected]gmail.com. The project web site is www.codot.gov/projects/us-160-cortez-mancos-hill.

WHOLE SYSTEM. WHOLE SAFETY.: To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System. Whole Safety. initiative. This campaign takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behavior, 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 safety conditions for those traveling by all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission - to get everyone home safely.

ABOUT CDOT: 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, and administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated inter-regional express service. Governor Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s inter-modal mobility options.

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