CDOT to begin US 40 Berthoud Pass emergency paving project after winter damage

Project Update

July 12, 2023 - Northwestern Colorado - Motorists should plan for traffic impacts and delays as long as 20 minutes starting in early August

Grand County — The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor partner United Companies/APC Southern Construction are advancing a paving project on US Highway 40, on the west side of Berthoud Pass near Winter Park, beginning in early August. The severe freeze-thaw cycle this year has caused significant damage to many of Colorado’s roadways, but in particular US 40 Berthoud Pass. After a difficult winter season, CDOT requested and received $25 million of additional funding from the Colorado Transportation Commission to address critical pavement conditions across the state such as permanent repair of potholes.

Since then, the CDOT maintenance team has led a rapid effort to prioritize where dollars were most needed, based on the extensive knowledge that local patrols’ plow operators have of the winter damage. They have worked closely with the CDOT engineering team to develop scopes of work for projects too large to execute in-house. Berthoud Pass is the largest project to result from this effort.

“The 2022-2023 winter season was one of the most severe in recent decades,” said CDOT Executive Director Lew. “US Highway 40 on the north side of Berthoud Pass, near Winter Park, has experienced badly deteriorating conditions since mid-winter and maintenance crews have been making numerous temporary fixes since the seasonal freeze-thaw cycle began. However, it is important that we invest in more permanent repairs to this viral roadway, which is why this project is a priority for the Department’s broader effort to address the impacts of this winter. We appreciate the hard work of the CDOT team to implement interim repairs and identify where more extensive ones were needed.”

A ten mile section of Berthoud Pass will be milled and paved at a two inch depth from Mile Point 233-243, creating a smoother and safer ride for residents, businesses and visitors. Currently the contracted team is crushing aggregate materials that make up the base for the asphalt that will be used for paving. Major paving operations on US 40 at Berthoud Pass will begin in early August. The project is anticipated to be complete by late October, 2023.

Over 250,000 square yards of milling at a two inch depth will occur on the project. These millings will be recycled and incorporated with the newly crushed material into the asphalt mix. Over 30,000 tons of asphalt will be produced for the project. United Companies/APC Southern Construction worked with Grand County to allow additional truck traffic and additional permitting so that enough materials can be transported to the project site.

“CDOT thanks Grand County and contractor partner United Companies/APC Southern Construction for finding a way for more truck traffic to safely travel to and from the Granby gravel pit and the project site,” said Region 3 Transportation Director Jason Smith. “The coordination will help the project be completed more quickly.”

Colorado saw the second-most number of days with snowfall requiring road treatment, and the statewide snowpack peaked well above annual averages. Remote weather stations on high mountain passes across the state have measured liquid precipitation above 40 inches from October 2022 to May 2023; this equates to roughly 400-600 inches or more of snow. In addition to the impressive snowfall amounts, this season’s October - March period was the coldest since 2010. March 2023 was the fifth consecutive month with below-average temperatures and the coldest March since 1970. Arctic cold outbreaks affected the state in November, December, January, and February, and two-day temperature swings in both December and February neared all-time records on the Front Range.

Twelve sections of roadway from across the state will receive part of the $25 million funding, including the US 40 Berthoud Pass area. The projects will be performed either by CDOT maintenance, in accordance with state law, or will be contracted to a private construction firm overseen by CDOT maintenance supervisors.

Route Begin/End Mile Points Delivery Method
US 40 MP 233 - 243 (Berthoud Pass) Contracted construction project
I-70 MP 215.7 - 223 (Eisenhower Tunnel to Georgetown) Contracted construction project
I-70 MP 190 - 203 (east side of Vail Pass to Frisco) Contracted construction project - maintenance managed
I-76 MP 2.25 - 2.85 (Eastbound only, in Denver) On-call contract
US 50 MP 433 - 434 (north of Lamar) Maintenance staff
CO 151 MP 27 - 27.8 (east of Ignacio)  Maintenance staff
I-70 MP 81.7 - 86.2 (east of Parachute) Maintenance staff
CO 94 MP 54.75 - 55.75 (east of Colorado Springs) Maintenance staff
CO 257 MP 16.6 - 17.6 (north of Windsor) Maintenance staff
US 160 MP 278.5 - 279 (La Veta Pass) Maintenance staff
CO 125 MP 0 - 10 (north of Granby) Contracted construction project - maintenance managed
US 350 MP 46.7 - 49.7 (between Trinidad and La Junta)  Maintenance staff

Table: State highway locations where repairs are scheduled and type of project delivery method

Traffic Impacts

Daytime work hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the project team will be off the roadway on Fridays in order to accommodate the increase in weekend traffic that visits the area on a regular basis. There will be no work over holiday weekends. Motorists will encounter alternating lane closures and delays up to 20 minutes during working hours. The speed limit is reduced to 40 mph through the work zone.

Project Information

For additional information about this project:

  • Call the project information line at 970-462-7207
  • Email the project team at: [email protected]

Know Before You Go

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.
  • 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!

Download the COtrip App!

The new free COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!