US 160 wildlife crossings project resumes next month – Colorado Department of Transportation
Southwestern Colorado – The Colorado Department of Transportation and prime contractor Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. will resume construction of wildlife infrastructure this spring on Colorado’s U.S. Highways 160 and 151 near Chimney National Monument Rock and Lake Capote. Efforts to build two wildlife crossings (underpass and overpass) began last March, covering a stretch of highway in a critical migratory corridor for mule deer and elk – about 13 miles west of Pagosa Springs and 37 miles east of Durango.
When work resumes on April 1, crews will focus on the wildlife overpass. The precast concrete overpass forms were installed over the highway last fall. Work to complete the structure includes constructing concrete side walls, backfilling side walls and slopes for animal access, and seeding natural landscaping over the bridge.
“Wildlife-vehicle collisions account for more than 60% of accidents in this region. This $11.3 project is expected to reduce these collisions by at least 80%,” said CODT Regional Director of Transportation, Julie Constan. “And we are already seeing benefits. Our project and environmental teams are very pleased to find that trail cameras captured small animals and large game, including deer and elk, using the underpass structure completed last fall. »
All aspects of the wildlife underpass were completed before the winter break. In addition, an 8-foot high exclusion fence has been installed on both sides of the highway. At the intersection of CO 151, a deer guard has been placed and the turning lanes have been improved. Also, in the construction zone, the road was widened to extend passing lanes and US 160 was repaved.
Daytime hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Fifteen minutes late are to be expected. Speeds will be reduced to 30 mph in the work area. Work should continue until June, weather permitting.
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Remember: slow for the cone area
The following tips are intended to help you stay safe when traveling through maintenance and construction work areas.
- Do not accelerate in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
- Stay alert! Expect the unexpected.
- Watch the workers. Drive with caution.
- Do not change lanes unnecessarily.
- Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving through work areas.
- Turn on the headlights so workers and other drivers can see you.
- Expect delays, especially during peak hours.
- Leave enough space between you and the car in front of you.
- Anticipate lane changes and merge when prompted.
- Be especially vigilant at night when driving through work areas.
- Be patient!