Passing lanes project continues on US 160/491 north of Towaoc

October 24, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado - Paving underway for approximately two weeks with lengthier delays

MONTEZUMA COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Oldcastle SW Group began paving the newly reconstructed stretch of U.S. Highway 160/491 north of Towaoc where two passing lanes are being added.  With paving underway over the next two weeks and into early November, motorists can expect travel delays that are lengthier than those to date. From 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, there will be single-lane, alternating traffic along the paving work zone, which may extend up to two miles in length. A lane shift remains in place 24/7, as does the 11-foot width restriction.

The project is completing these safety improvements: 

  • Construction of alternating passing lanes (approximately one mile in each direction) between mile points 27.75 and 29.75

  • Realignment of CR A and CR B to create T junctions with U.S. 160/491, improving safety by increasing sight distance for those entering the highway from these county roads

  • Construction of acceleration and deceleration lanes on U.S. 160/491 in both directions at these two intersections

  • Closure of CR 21, which lies between A and B, to eliminate access conflicts along this stretch

  • Installation of a waterline and slip-lining an existing wooden drainage structure under the highway

  • Installation of new guardrail and guardrail end sections

  • New fencing, seeding and striping


CDOT and Oldcastle began this project on May 6, 2019, to construct passing lanes, shoulder improvements, vehicle turnouts and access improvements on U.S. 160/491 north of Towaoc. In March 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe a $2 million TIGER grant to help pay for the $11.2 million project. The work is expected to be completed by late December 2019.


Through the project’s completion, motorists can expect single-lane, alternating travel where work zones exist, from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, as well as a 24/7 traffic shift and 11-foot width restriction. Motorists are urged to drive with care through construction zones and watch for workers and equipment. Please avoid distractions when traveling through the work areas and go “Slow for the Cone Zone!”

PROJECT INFORMATION  Those with questions or comments may call the project information line at (970) 560-1211 or write to The project web site is



The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.

  • Be patient!


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 inter-modal mobility options.