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US 160 Overlay Draws Local Kudos

When CDOT does a major project on a long stretch of a U.S. highway, it is always the local residents/commuters who must bear the brunt of lowered speed limits and construction impacts.  For that reason, it's always nice to know that locals appreciate the finished product and are willing to let CDOT know.

Mancos-area business owners Duff Simbeck and Veryl Goodnight wrote recently to Durango Maintenance Section 3 TM-III Richard Tokar, who is based at Cortez, to explain their gratitude.  Tokar passed the kudos along to the Region 5 engineering employees who ran the project.

Simbeck and Goodnight wrote, "We gripe and go around when construction slows us down, but this winter and over the next several years we can remain thankful for all the efforts expended on our stretch of highway."  Both also cited improved paved accesses to businesses in the Mancos area.

Region 5 Resident Engineer Mike Coggins noted that U.S. 160 was badly in need of improvements.  "It was cracked, there were potholes, and it was showing a lot of fatigue," he explained.  "We did hot-in-place recycling to fix all the distresses, then came back in with a two-inch asphalt overlay."  The result is an outstanding new driving surface on the entire 16 miles from Mancos past the Mesa Verde National Park entrance and on west to Cortez.

In addition to Coggins, CDOT project leaders were Karthik Reballi (project engineer); Ryan Sullivan (intern/assistant project engineer); Ben Miles (inspector); and Robert Pare (tester).

Coggins said the $8.2 million project proceeded smoothly.  "We had finished up our hot-in-place recycling when a major wildfire broke out near Mancos," he recalled.  "Fortunately, we were done with that phase so we were able to quickly accommodate emergency vehicles that needed to get through the construction zone."

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