CO 144 Flood Repairs & Upgrades Near Orchard

Project Facts

  • Cost: $5.3 million
  • Contractor: Castle Rock Construction Company of Colorado
  • Timeline: May - October 2018
  • Location: On CO 144, from mile points 5.1 to 6.7

Crews on this project reconstructed a 1.6-mile stretch of Colorado Highway 144 that was damaged in the 2013 floods, and again in spring 2015. Work—which took place near the community of Orchard in Morgan County improved the design of the roadway to withstand future flooding.

Specific improvements included:

  • building the new road adjacent to the existing one, providing 26,000 cubic yards of 12-inch rock, 73,000 cubic yards of embankment and 17,000 tons of road base.
  • building drainage infrastructure to reduce future flood impacts.


  • aligned CO 144 further away from the South Platte River;
    • brought the highway up to current design standards;
  • smoothed existing horizontal curves to improve safety; and
  • provided the road with additional high-water-relief elements to handle large storms.

CO 144 Near US 34 in 2015.jpgCO 144 near US 34 following storm-related damages in spring 2015

Road Prep - May 2018.jpgCrews prepare for road repairs in May 2018

September 2018Crews near completion in September 2018

September 2018Crews near completion in September 2018


By taking CO 144, travelers can access the communities of Weldona and Orchard in unincorporated Morgan County, and US 34 and I-76.

September 2013 Floods

Following the September 2013 floods, crews closed the highway for nearly two months after flood waters overtook the banks of the South Platte River and the roadway, weakening the pavement and, in some places, washing it out. During the closure, crews rebuilt embankments, patched the road, repaired fence and seeded the area.

May 2015 Rain Damage

Crews closed CO 144 for several days in May 2015, when water from the South Platte River once again threatened the highway.