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Jackson Mountain highway project to begin

The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Tricon 2 LLC, are beginning a project this week to mitigate a landslide area that has been impacting a section of U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs. The Jackson Mountain Slide area lies five miles east of Pagosa, near mile marker 151.

The project will be conducted in two phases, the first of which will wrap up by Nov. 15, 2010. Following a winter suspension, work will resume in the spring of 2011 and be completed by late October 2011.

The landslide, which has been monitored and studied over the years, is essentially bedrock sloping towards the river below—some 50 to 80 feet of earth atop this bedrock continues to slide with a great amount of surface- and groundwater in the area. The project to mitigate for future sliding and make repairs to the highway is being funded with $5.2 million from the State Transportation Commission.

“CDOT has been expending a great deal of time and money to maintain this section of highway to keep it passable; we noted that the slide area appeared to be worsening as time went by — and more rapidly in recent years,” State Transportation Commissioner Steve Parker said. “We took a hard look — including consultation with the Archuleta Board of County Commissioners — and felt it was too big a risk not to take immediate action. Not only do we want to avoid a lengthy closure on this vital route, but we are hopeful this extensive reconstruction project will permanently improve this section of roadway so it is safer for all who travel it, whether it’s for commuting, for tourism or for commercial purposes.”

Phase I (September through mid-November 2010): The work during this first phase will involve installing a surface and underground drainage system (3-inch pipes) and installing 44 ground anchor tiebacks (steel cable systems) to stabilize the hillside below the highway.

Phase II (Spring 2011 through late October 2011): The work will involve installing 44 additional ground anchor tiebacks to further stabilize the lower portion of the slope. A buttress at the toe of the slope (just above the river) will be constructed using a concrete base and 10,000 cubic yards of rip-rap, or specific rock material. No work will be done at the riverside until after July 15 to avoid fish spawning. Finally, crews will do a “deep-patch repair” and reinforce a 500-foot section of U.S. 160 that has been damaged over the years by the slide.

Travel impacts: Work hours are Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  At this time no weekend work or holiday work is anticipated. During project work hours, motorists will encounter minimal travel delays. All business and residential accesses will be maintained. During highway repairs in Phase II, travel will be more directly impacted; details will be sent at a later date.)CDOT and Tricon 2 LLC crews greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation while driving through the work zone. Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone!

Tricon 2 does not have a local project information hotline set up at this time – information about this contact number will be sent at a later date. If the public has questions regarding this project, they may contact Tricon 2 at (303) 688-9568.