US 160 Wolf Creek Pass Fiber & Safety Systems

About the Project:

On May 23, the Colorado Department of Transportation, in partnership with Paonia, Inc., will begin a project to install fiber optic cable and additional dynamic safety signage on US 160 between Pagosa Springs and the east side of Wolf Creek Pass. The work will be completed by November 2023 with a winter suspension anticipated from late November through mid-February; these dates are subject to change dependent on weather circumstances.

This project was made possible, in part, through a $4.4 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The fiber optic cable will connect with existing fiber that was installed in 2017 along a 16-mile stretch of the US 160 mountain corridor from Wolf Creek Pass east tunnel to the community of South Fork.

The project will also include the installation of new and upgraded dynamic signs that will provide additional safety and warning messages to all Wolf Creek Pass travelers regarding road and weather conditions, lowered speeds and the westside hairpin turn.

Project Benefits

  • The electrical and fiber project upgrades will benefit surrounding communities, travelers, emergency service providers, and CDOT’s traveler information systems by connecting new and existing equipment to the power and fiber backbone.
  • The project will add in-pavement detection systems to detect longer loads and communicate with dynamic speed limit signs to provide additional safety for travelers.
  • The project will upgrade the westbound US 160 downhill speed warning system at MP 167.34 approaching the west-side hairpin curve.

Work Schedule

  • The project is coming out of winter shutdown and is scheduled to resume the beginning of May 2023.  Daytime work hours range from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • The project is expected to be completed by November 2023.

Traffic Impacts

  • Depending upon the section under construction, US 160 may be reduced to single-lane traffic intermittently in either direction, throughout the duration of the project.
  • When work is underway across any of the four bridges, in the valley east of Pagosa Springs, motorists will encounter single-lane, alternating traffic, with delays that could extend beyond 15 minutes, depending on traffic queues.
  • The speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph through the work zone.

Work this Week & Lane Closures
US 160 Wolf Creek Pass Fiber & Safety Systems

Project Facts

  • Cost: $7.9 million
  • Contractor: Paonia
  • Timeline: May 2022 - November 2023
  • Location: US 160 from Pagosa Springs to the east side of Wolf Creek Pass
    • Mile Posts: 144 to 174
    • Counties:  Archuleta & Mineral Counties
US 160 Wolf Creek Pass fiber project map
Map of US 160 from Pagosa Springs to the
east side of Wolf Creek Pass