CDOT begins chip seal project to improve safety on US 40 on Monday

A project to improve safety and smoothness on U.S. Highway 40 between mile points 132 and 146 in Steamboat Springs begins Monday, June 14, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Work will begin with the removal of the current striping configuration on Rabbit Ears Pass. The removal will move west toward Steamboat later in the week. The striping removal is necessary because chip seal does not adhere to the epoxy paint. To prevent future separation of the chip seal, the old epoxy is removed, and temporary striping is placed.

“We know this is a busy time of year for motorists and locals traveling in Steamboat Springs,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew in a news release. “It is critical that everyone take it slow through the work zone so our crew can complete the project safely. Following posted speed limits and staying alert also better protects your vehicle as you travel through the work zone.”

The first phase of the project will occur east of the intersection of the Colorado Highway 131 and U.S. 40 intersection near Haymaker Golf Course and continue to the west summit of Rabbit Ears Pass. Final pavement marking will be completed prior to beginning of chip seal application in the second phase of the project, which will extend from the east end of downtown Steamboat, where the roadway goes from concrete to the intersection of U.S. 40 and 131.

Work is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Friday, the project team will perform sweeping operations from 7 a.m. to noon to prepare the roadway for weekend traffic.

On Rabbit Ears Pass, there will be one lane open each direction to traffic. A pilot car will be utilized to guide commercial vehicles down safely. These vehicles will be stopped at the top of the summit and queued. Wait time should be 15 minutes or less.

Motorists should plan for delays and reduced speed limits through the work zone. Motorists are encouraged to zipper merge, which is a method for merging traffic into a reduced number of lanes. Drivers in merging lanes are expected to use both lanes to advance to the lane reduction point and merge at that location, alternating turns.

Anticipated completion date for the project is mid-September.

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