CDOT begins project to improve highway surface, upgrade pedestrian crossings in Cortez, Dolores and Rico

News Release

March 10, 2021 - Southwestern Colorado

Montezuma/Dolores Counties — The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin pavement surface improvements of several stretches of highways in Cortez, Dolores and Rico. Crews will mobilize beginning the week of March 15. The project will also upgrade several ramps at select intersections to meet mandated standards by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

“Many US and state highways run through the center of rural communities, like these three southwest Colorado towns,” said Julie Constan, the Regional Transportation Director for southwest Colorado. “Improving the surfaces of these roadways will benefit each community’s business districts and add safety for motorists. This project will also ensure that current federal ADA standards are met and maintained on ramps for accessibility and to enhance pedestrian safety.”

The road surface work will include repaving process to sections of CO 145 through Dolores and Rico and on US 160 east and south of Cortez. The resurfacing method, or heater repave treatment, will heat, mix and recycle the top 1.5 inches of existing asphalt. The material is laid back down and followed with an application of 1.5 inches of new asphalt. The work will involve planing or leveling the asphalt at the gutter edges and across the full roadway width along certain roadway segments where necessary. The process creates a smoother driving surface. ADA curb ramps will be removed and replaced, or newly constructed, through each town, at 16 intersections. 

Specifically, the work will be done at the following locations:

  • US 160 in Cortez

    •  E. Roger Smith Avenue, N. Edith Street, S Veach Street, N. Texas Street, Cactus Street and Trinity Avenue.

    • South Cortez: The heater repaving process will be done from about a half mile south of CR G to McElmo Street (traffic control will be set up between milepoints 34.3 - 37.5). The repaving will skip over the intersection of US 160 and CR G, which is  surfaced in concrete; and the bridge deck at McElmo Creek (MP 35.7) will be repaired. To accommodate the afternoon peak travel period, there will be no lane closures along this stretch between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

    • East Cortez:  Heater repaving and ADA ramp upgrades will be done east and west of the CO 145 junction, between Mildred Street and the Fun Center (MP 38.5 - 41.5); there will be no lane closures in either direction between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ADA ramp work will completed at the following six intersections:

  • CO 145 in Cortez, Dolores and Rico

    • 2nd Street through 8th Street and 11th Street (ADA ramps on the north side of these intersections will be upgraded; a previous project has upgraded those on the south side.)

    • East Cortez: Heater repaving will be done along a short section of CO 145 from the intersection of US 160 south for about 200 feet (MP 0 - .25).

    • Dolores: Heater repaving from east of the CO 184 junction (to Mancos) north through the town of Dolores (MP 8.9 - 13.2) and north-side ADA ramp upgrades at the following eight intersections:

    • Rico: The heater repave will go through the town (MP 45.7 - 48) and ADA ramps will be constructed at the intersections of E. Mantz and E. Campbell streets, on both sides.

Travel Impacts

The project will begin on US 160 and CO 145 with ADA ramp removal and reconstruction through all three towns, somewhat simultaneously. While ramp work is underway in these towns, there will likely be single-lane closures at the intersection under construction. Pedestrians will encounter full-time sidewalk closures for a period of several days to a week, as necessary for ramp removal, reconstruction and concrete cure time. Access to businesses and residences will be maintained, but may be temporarily altered during construction at a given intersection. 

On sections of highway where the repaving work is underway, motorists will encounter single-lane, alternating traffic with possible 15- to 20-minute delays, depending upon traffic volumes. Speed limits will be lowered through work zones and double fines for traffic infractions will be enforced.

Holiday Work Suspensions 

There will be no work and no travel impacts over the following holiday time periods/weekends:

  • Memorial Day, May 28 at noon through June 1

  • Independence Day, July 2 at noon through July 6

  • Labor Day, September 3 at noon through September 7

Stay Informed 

More information is available at: 

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

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.

  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

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

  • 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!

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. 

US 160 S. Cortez Map   CO 145 Rico Map

US 160 Cortez South                                  CO 145 North & South of Rico

US 160 E. Cortez Map

US 160 East Cortez

CO 146 Dolores Map

CO 145 Dolores North & South (East & West, at this location)