OURAY COUNTY: CDOT plans more Red Mountain Pass work

By Sheridan Block

Further repairs and more road closures are expected later this year when the Colorado Department of Transportation returns to Red Mountain Pass to initiate "Phase 3" of its rockfall mitigation work.

On Tuesday, CDOT Program Engineer Ed Archuleta updated the Board of County Commissioners on the department's overall project for the pass, including work that was completed this spring and expectations for continuing work this fall.
According to Archuleta, while no plans have been completely finalized, the roadway at Red Mountain Pass is in desperate need of repair.
"Obviously, the road is pretty beat up from the rockfalls," he said.
A report presented to the BOCC states that Phase 3 of the Red Mountain Pass Ruby Walls Rockfall project includes installation of a concrete cap over the existing rockery cribwall.
Archuleta informed the board that the highway is not paved on solid rock, and he explained that over time the road could lose the embankment edge to deterioration. In order to stabilize the edge of the roadway, he said, CDOT is proposing to construct a concrete "L-shaped cap" to lay as a foundation to strengthen the side of the roadway. CDOT would also pave the surface on top of the cap to smooth out the road. Total cost of the project is estimated at $700,000.
Some major concerns attached to the project include roadway width and available working space, as well as the timeline and weather conditions, said Archuleta.
Due to the scope of work necessary, road closures will be inevitable. CDOT is making every effort to advertise the project and prepare communities and travelers during the summer while aiming for construction beginning in the fall, he said. Crews need to begin construction early enough in the fall so chilling temperatures don't affect work such as concrete curing.
"It's an aggressive schedule but I'll sleep a lot better this winter knowing it's done," Archuleta said.
He noted CDOT realizes the potential...

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