MINERAL COUNTY — On May 2, the Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Paonia, Inc. will begin a project to install fiber optic cable and additional dynamic safety signage on US Highway 160 between Pagosa Springs and the east side of Wolf Creek Pass. The work will be completed in May of 2023, with a winter suspension anticipated from late November through mid-February. The project duration dates are subject to change depending on weather conditions.
This $7.9 million project was made possible, in part, through a $4.4 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration. 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.
“These electrical and fiber 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,” said Shoshana Lew, CDOT Executive Director. “Information gathered by highway closed-circuit cameras and weather stations uses this technology to further improve CDOT’s online communications for travelers. Enhanced information for road and weather alerts and improved web camera images will be accessible to the public via CDOT’s traveler information site www.cotrip.org.”
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.
During the project, crews will accomplish the following:
Beginning in early May, crews plan to start work at MP 144.5 east of Pagosa Springs near the CO 84 junction and work their way east toward Wolf Creek Pass. Initially, work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 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 through the work zones to 40 mph. Traffic fines in the construction zone will be doubled.
For additional information about this project, contact the project team: