CDOT celebrating completion of US 50 Surface Treatment and Passing Lanes Project

October 14, 2020 - Southeastern Colorado

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Picture L to R - Brendan Biddle, CDOT Project Engineer; State Senator Larry Crowder; Otero County Commissioner Jim Baldwin; Shoshana Lew, CDOT Executive Director; State Representative Bri Buentello; Karen Stuart, Transportation Commission Chairperson; Richard Zamora, CDOT R2 Transportation Director

OTERO COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation, along with contractor Castle Rock Construction Company, has completed the US 50 Surface Treatment and Passing Lanes project and the roadway will be open by the end of the day on Saturday.  

In advance of the completion CDOT held a celebratory ribbon cutting on October 13. It was an exciting day for many, particularly the residents of Fowler and Manzanola who have been incredibly patient during the full closure of US 50. This newly completed 8-mile stretch provides motorists significant safety improvements including widening and lengthening the existing passing lane, placing safety rumble strips at centerline and shoulders, repairing bridges within the project limits and reconstruction of crumbling roadway.

Some of the attendees included CDOT Executive Director, Shoshana Lew, Transportation Commission Chair, Karen Stuart, Senator Larry Crowder, Representative Bri Buentello and CDOT Region 2 Transportation Director, Richard Zamora.  

Shoshana Lew Said: “The US 50 project has faced and overcome several challenges over the last seven months. We are incredibly proud and recognize the hard work required to complete this project on time during a global pandemic and active wildfire season. We also thank the community for their patience with detours.” 

"Investing in rural paving projects, such as US 50 between Fowler and Manzanola, is a great use of taxpayer dollars,” explained Karen Stuart, Transportation Commission Chairperson. “We invest a lot of money in Colorado on transportation and while it might not be enough to meet all the needs across the state, the Transportation Commission is always excited to see projects that connect communities and connect families. This project will enhance safety not only for our motorists in southeastern Colorado, but also the freight and agriculture industry that depend on US 50."


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 health safety 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 at home when possible, and avoiding nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.  


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!


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.