US 160 & CO 145 Improvements in Cortez & Mancos

Project Facts

  • Cost: $2.6 Million
  • Contractor: Oldcastle SW Group, Inc.
  • Timeline: May - July 2019
  • Locations:
    1. US 160 from Cortez east through the Town of Mancos, to the top of Mancos Hill at the Montezuma County and La Plata County line
    2. CO 145 from US 160 north to mile point 1.34

Crews on this project have improved stretches of road on two highways:

  1. a 21-mile stretch of US Highway 160, from Cortez east through the Town of Mancos, ending at the La Plata County line (mile points (MP) 40 to 61.85); and
  2. on CO 145 in Cortez, from the US 160 intersection to north of County Road L (MP 1.34)

Specific work included:

  • applying a protective material to the roadway to prevent deterioration; and
  • improving the ramps and bridge deck on the Mesa Verde interchange.

Surface Improvement Work

This cost-effective process protects and prolongs the roadway surface by renewing it, and sealing minor cracks and other imperfections. CDOT chose a smaller rock chip (⅜ inch) than the regular sized chip (½ inch) to provide a smoother surface for the bicycling community.

  • Crews distribute small rocks over hot emulsified asphalt.
  • It's then rolled to create a thin paved surface before crews apply a protective sealant or fog.

Micro-surfacing is a thin, strong layer of asphalt emulsion blended with finely crushed stone and cement. Crews will apply this near the Sleeping Ute Mountain Rest Area and east of Mancos to test its viability as a maintenance surface treatment, along with the combination of the chip seal. This will provide a double armor of thin surface treatments, and will be monitored over the next few years by CDOT staff for performance and durability.

Crews will perform inlaying will before applying the chip seal. They will then place pavement markings (crosswalks, arrows, stop bars and other symbols) into the previously ground/inlaid locations.

Crews will place alternative double chip seal treatments along four ¼-mile test sections near the Sleeping Ute Mountain Rest Area to test and monitor the viability of varying shot rates and chip sizes.

Following chip seal and microsurfacing, crews will stripe all lanes of the highway. They'll paint four-inch wide center yellow lines and stripes, while they'll paint six-inch outer white lines near the shoulder. This will better illuminate and brighten the stripes, especially for night travel.