CDOT begins project to improve CO 172

Project Update

March 6, 2023 - Southwestern Colorado - Work will take place from Ignacio to the US 160 junction at Elmore's Corner
Resurfacing and improvement work is set for CO 172 from south of Ignacio, through the town and will extend for 16.7 miles to just south of the US 160 junction at Elmore’s Corner.
Resurfacing and improvement work is set for CO 172 from south of Ignacio, through the town and will extend for 16.7 miles to just south of the US 160 junction at Elmore’s Corner.

La Plata County — The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Oldcastle SW Group, Inc., will begin surface treatment work on CO Highway 172 Monday, March 13. Work will take place through the town of Ignacio and north to the US Highway 160 junction at Elmore’s Corner. Commuters driving on CO 172, the local route to the Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO), will need to allow themselves at least 30 minutes of extra travel time. The project is scheduled for completion by late December 2023.

The initial phase of the project will involve culvert replacement in three locations and deep-patch repairs in two locations where the road is severely damaged. Once culvert replacement and roadway repairs are completed, paving will likely begin in June, between Mile Point (MP) 7.7, at Shadow Spirit Drive, just south of Ignacio, and MP 24.35 south of the US 160 junction, or Elmore’s Corner. Paving operations will be done in two phases - a bottom and top application.

“CO 172 is a critical transportation route that services busy traffic to the regional airport. The highway also supports daily commuters, recreators, farmers, ranchers and commerce between Ignacio and the access point of US 160 at Elmore's Corner,” CDOT SW Regional Transportation Director Julie Constan said. “This is a sizable project that has been a high priority for our local Transportation Planning Region members. This multi-faceted project will greatly improve the condition, safety and mobility for all highway users.”

The 16.7-mile surface treatment project includes the following improvements:

  • Culvert replacement in three locations prior to paving: at MP 11.59 and MP 14.23, both south of the airport (airport turn-off is at MP 18.9); and at MP 20, just north of the airport
  • Florida River bridge resurfacing at MP 19.4 north of the airport
  • Culvert repairs/upgrades at three additional locations
  • Deep-patch repairs to the roadway in two locations, one just north of the airport (near MP 19), and one in downtown Ignacio
  • Asphalt resurfacing of the entire 16.7-mile stretch (two applications)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps and concrete work in downtown Ignacio at the following intersection locations:
    • Pioneer Street
    • Navajo Street
    • El Paso Road
    • Pine Street
    • Empire Street
    • Lampert Street
    • Lakin Street
    • Ignacio Street
    • Browning Street

Travel Impacts

Daytime work hours will likely be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and some Saturdays. Hours will vary a bit with available daylight. Motorists will likely encounter single-lane, alternating traffic each day, through one to two work zones, throughout the duration of the project. These lane closures, particularly during paving operations, may cause 15 to 30-minute delays. The speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph through the work zone/s. It is critical that those planning their trips to Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) add at least a half hour to their travel time, and check updated project schedules and travel impacts on CDOT's travel information site at

Project Information

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

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!

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