CDOT begins a chip seal project to improve safety on US 40

News Release

June 9. 2021 - Northwestern Colorado - Project mobilization and removal of existing striping begins next week

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS - The Colorado Department of Transportation and United Companies will begin work on Monday, June 14 to improve the safety and smoothness of US Highway 40 in Steamboat Springs from Mile Points 132 to 146. The project will begin on the eastern end of the project limits on Rabbit Ears Pass, then work will move closer to city limits in late July.

Work beginning the evening of Monday, June 14, is the removal of the current striping configuration on Rabbit Ears Pass. The removal will move west towards Steamboat Springs later in the week. The striping removal is necessary because chip seal does not adhere to the epoxy paint. To prevent future separation of the chip seal, the old epoxy is removed and temporary striping is placed.

“We know this is a busy time of year for motorists and locals traveling in Steamboat Springs,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “It is critical that everyone take it slow through the work zone so our crew can complete the project safely. Following posted speed limits and staying alert also better protects your vehicle as you travel through the work zone."

Project Phasing

Phase 1 of the project will occur from MP 137 (east of the intersection of Colorado Highway 131 and US 40 intersection near Haymaker Golf Course) to MP 146 (west summit of Rabbit Ears Pass). Final pavement marking will be completed in Phase 1 prior to beginning the chip seal application in Phase 2.

Phase 2 will extend from MP 132, at the east end of downtown Steamboat Springs where the roadway goes from concrete to asphalt, to MP 137 (Junction of US 40 and CO 131). 

Chip seal projects protect and prolong the surface of the roadway. Crews will also remove the old epoxy striping and replace it with a temporary paint during construction. The chip seal does not adhere to the epoxy paint and to prevent future separation of the chip seal, the old epoxy is removed and temporary striping is placed.

Travel Impacts

  • Work is scheduled Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Friday the project team will perform sweeping operations from 7 a.m. to noon to prepare the roadway for weekend traffic.

  • Work times on the chip seal project from MP 132-146 will accommodate commuter traffic when the project gets closer to Steamboat Springs city limits. Work in the eastbound (EB) lanes will begin after 9 a.m. and work in the westbound (WB) lanes will end by 4 p.m. each day.

  • On Rabbit Ears Pass, there will be one lane open each direction to traffic. A pilot car will be utilized to guide Commercial Vehicles (CMV) down safely. CMV will be stopped at the top of the summit and queued. Wait time should be 15 mins or less.  

  • Motorists should plan for delays and reduced speed limits through the work zone. Motorists are encouraged to zipper merge which is a method for merging traffic into a reduced number of lanes. Drivers in merging lanes are expected to use both lanes to advance to the lane reduction point and merge at that location, alternating turns. For more on zipper merging please visit:

  • Anticipated completion date is mid-September 2021.

  • Motorists should anticipate delays depending on traffic volumes.

  • It is imperative for motorists to drive the posted speed limit through the work zone and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to avoid loose material from kicking up.

  • Travelers are urged to slow down, obey the posted lowered speed limit and avoid all distractions.

Project & Travel Info

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

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

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.

  • 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 especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Be patient!

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.