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Cortez Main Street will undergo repairs beginning in June

Concrete roadways will be upgraded; parking will be affected temporarily
Roadwork will be done between Maple Street and Mildred Road on U.S. Highway 160 in downtown Cortez. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

A highway maintenance and repair project is planned for three locations in the Cortez area from June to October by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

On U.S. Highway 160 south of Cortez, crews will make concrete repairs at the County Road G intersection, and north and south of the intersection. Diamond grinding will take place to restore the concrete, damaged concrete panels will be removed and replaced, cracks and joints will be sealed, and inlaid traffic markings will be installed.

On the west side of Cortez, inlaid traffic markings will be replaced in the concrete on U.S. Highway 491 north and south of Main Street.

On U.S. 160 through downtown Cortez, roadwork will be done between Maple Street and Mildred Road.

Damaged concrete panels will be removed and replaced in some areas on Main Street. Diamond grinding will be done to restore older concrete. Joints and cracks will be sealed and traffic markings inlaid.

Newly poured concrete will require time for curing, which takes 24 hours. There will sections of the road closed off through the day for the panel replacements.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Work may occur at any of the three project locations throughout the June to October stretch, said Nancy Shanks, project public information manager.

Daytime work will be done at each of the three locations. Motorists will encounter single-lane closures.

The concrete grinding between Maple Street and Mildred Road will be done at night to minimize its impact. Joint sealing also will be done at night for the section.

In addition, the intersection of Main Street and Broadway will be closed for one night, with a posted detour, to allow new concrete to cure. Public notice will be given before the closure and detour.

As work progresses along Main Street in Cortez, certain segments of street parking will be unavailable temporarily as the operation moves along, Shanks said. Business access will be temporarily altered in areas where road construction prevents street parking.

Concrete roadways require grinding after heavy use to rehabilitate the concrete and restore traction, which prevents traffic skidding, according to CDOT. The roughed-up surface smooths out from traffic over time.

The grinding process is “quite loud and dusty,” Shanks said, and is being done at night on Main Street to minimize impacts to businesses and summer daytime traffic. Businesses open after 7 p.m. in areas of grinding will feel the effects.

Shanks is in the process of contacting businesses on Main Street to inform them of the project and temporary impacts.

As part of the project, concrete joints and cracks will be cleared and resealed. A process called cross-stitching will strengthen longitudinal cracks in the concrete slabs.

Traffic striping and marking for concrete roads must be inlaid, rather than painted on as they are for asphalt.

The Cortez-area concrete repair projects were contracted to Interstate Improvement Inc. for $5 million.

Roadwork is underway on U.S. Highway 160 east of Cortez. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

Maintenance on the concrete surface of the highway will provide several key benefits to travelers and Colorado taxpayers, said Kevin Curry, CDOT program engineer, in an April 22 news release.

“Not only will the rehabilitation process restore and improve the roadway for mobility and safety, it will also give 15 to 20 more years of life to the existing concrete,” Curry stated. “The rehabilitation of the concrete will help us avoid reconstruction of the highway, ultimately bringing long-term savings to state taxpayers for potentially 20 years. A complete rebuild of the highway could likely have cost tens of millions of dollars.”

Holiday work suspensions

There will be no work and no travel impacts over the following holiday time periods:

Memorial Day, May 28 at noon through June 1; Independence Day, July 2 at noon through July 6; Labor Day, Sept. 3 at noon through Sept. 7.

For information on the project, visit the CDOT project page at www.codot.gov/projects/us-160-cortez-durango-concrete-repairs

Information also is available at (970) 317-5658. The project email is us160cortez.durango.concrete@gmail.com

Road conditions and travel information are available at www.cotrip.org

jmimiaga@the-journal.com