U.S. 491 project starts Monday

Work goes from Towaoc to N.M.

A $13.7 million project to improve U.S. 491 from the New Mexico state line to Towaoc is scheduled to start on Monday.

“The work will provide a very specific remedy to each section of highway depending on its current condition,” said Colorado Department of Transportation engineer Mike Coggins.

Starting Monday, July 14, the CDOT project to rehabilitate and make safety improvements to U.S. 491 is expected to continue into the fall. The project will be suspended during the winter, and completed by August 2015.

During construction periods, motorists will encounter some single-lane, alternating traffic and speed reductions from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

From the state line to mile marker 6.4, the improvement project on U.S. 491 includes leveling to smooth the existing surface before being resurfaced with asphalt.

From mile marker 18.3 to 21 and from mile marker 23 to 26, improvements include a full-depth reclamation, which takes the highway down to a dirt surface and rebuilds with several inches of new asphalt.

No work will be performed between mile marker 21 and 23, as passing lanes and new asphalt were placed there in 2009.

From Towaoc to about a mile north of Mike Wash Road, the project will provide a mill and fill as a resurfacing measure. That stretch of U.S. 491 was resurfaced more recently and does not require the full overlay process.

Finally, the project will include lighting at the junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 491 junction as well as guardrail upgrades.

Skanska was awarded the $13.7 million contract to complete the project, which is funded in part through Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships (RAMP).

CDOT previously would not advertise a project until all of the money was available. Under RAMP, CDOT funds multiyear projects based on year of expenditure, rather than saving for the full amount of a project before construction begins.