CDOT to begin resurfacing project on US 160/491 from Towaoc to Cortez  Speed limits to be strictly enforced

Travel Advisory

June 16, 2020 - Southwestern Colorado

MONTEZUMA COUNTY —  The Colorado Department of Transportation and contract partner Intermountain Slurry Seal will begin a surface treatment project on US Highway 160/491 starting on June 29. The project will take place on US 160/491 from Mile Point 29.75, two miles north of Towaoc and will continue for more than five miles to MP 34.9 near Cortez. The southern limits of the project adjoin the US 160/491 Towaoc passing lanes project that was completed earlier this year. The project is expected to be completed by the end of August.

As part of CDOT’s Whole System—Whole Safety initiative, this project will focus on a chip seal and micro-surfacing application that will include three thin layers of resurfacing to protect and prolong the surface of the roadway by impeding crack reflection from the existing asphalt. Interfacing these three multiple layers of oil and rock create a strong and flexible mat that will preserve the asphalt beneath. Crews will also install rumble strips and new striping.  The new surface will enhance safety for motorists by providing a smoother surface for vehicles and will prolong the life of the roadway and reduce overall cracking. The new striping will offer better visibility while rumble strips will alert drivers if they are leaving the roadway or lane.     


Motorists can expect north and southbound one-lane alternating traffic piloted through the work zone, up to 15 minute delays, and a 40 mph speed limit.  The project will be in operation Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.   

Micro-surfacing requires about an hour to cure before traffic is allowed to drive on the fresh surface.  Businesses and residents at adjacent accesses will be notified prior to the work and travelers from these access points will not be able to access the road-way until the micro-surfacing has cured. 

US 160 Towaoc to Cortez Resurfacing Map


For additional information about this project, contact the project team.

Project hotline: (970) 549-0322

Project email: [email protected] 

Project web page: 

For information on travel conditions visit or call 511. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook at


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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Be patient!


Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, road maintenance and construction continues on CDOT projects with social distancing and other measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced guidelines for construction activities. The public is urged to join the campaign for #DoingMyPartCO by practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, staying home when possible, and avoiding nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.


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.