PROJECT COMPLETE ― CO 145 passing lane, safety improvements completed ahead of schedule and under contracted bid amount

November 25, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado

CO 145 Passing Lanes Completed (1).PNG

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY ― The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Oldcastle SW Group, Inc., have completed construction of the new southbound (up-valley, toward Telluride) passing lane on CO Highway 145 north of Telluride ahead of schedule and under bid budget. Originally the project was scheduled for completion in late December, and instead, the work was finalized last week, on November 20. Oldcastle’s work was also completed approximately 3.5 percent under the $5.4 million project bid budget.

The purpose of the project is to improve safety for motorists on the two-mile stretch that receives an average of 6,600 vehicles a day and spiking well above this amount of traffic during the summer months and, in particular, on festival weekends. The work has widened the highway to add a southbound, uphill passing lane and improve shoulders between mile point (MP) 73.9 at lllium Road (County Road 63L) and MP 75.1 at Deep Creek Road. A passing lane provides space and opportunities for faster vehicles to safely pass slower moving traffic. 

To widen the roadway and accommodate the new southbound passing lane, crews excavated the hillside along the northbound lane and constructed an embankment along the southbound lane. The work involved the following:

  • Construction of a reinforced soil slope and embankment (southbound) and rockery retaining wall (northbound)

  • Installation of new guardrail

  • Replacement of existing culverts at 11 locations across this stretch of improvement from Illium Road to the CDOT Maintenance facility

  • Construction of a concrete box culvert at Deep Creek

  • Super-elevation and crown improvements on the roadway (meaning the roadway’s banked curve was adjusted and its cross-slope―geometric feature of pavement surface that provides a drainage gradient―was be reconstructed to improve safety for motorists)



To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative. This project 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 interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.