CDOT honors northwest region staff for road projects

The work of Colorado Department of Transportation Region 3 on everything from interchange construction to sinkhole repair in northwest Colorado has led to it being honored as the highest-performing region in the state.

Region 3 received what CDOT calls the Executive Director’s Cup award for excellence from director Don Hunt. It’s the fourth time the region, one of six statewide, has won the award since the award’s inception in 1996.

Among accomplishments leading to the award, Region 3:

■ Partnered with Parachute, Garfield County, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Encana USA, Williams and Battlement Mesa Co. to design and complete a new Interstate 70 interchange just west of Parachute.

■ Likewise partnered with other entities on other projects, including Grand County, where a Colorado Highway 9 safety improvement project will include a first-of-a-kind wildlife overpass in Colorado, and the town of Eagle, where an I-70 interchange project is in the design phase. “Since transportation funding has remained the same in Colorado since the early 1990s, these new partnerships will help fund much-needed CDOT projects,” CDOT said in a news release.

■ Moved forward in partnership with the city of Grand Junction to design a “diverging diamond” interchange at Exit 26. Also the first of its kind in the state, the interchange design eliminates traditional left-hand turns by crossing lanes so drivers are shifted to the left side of the road, which boosts traffic capacity and safety and reduces the interchange cost, CDOT says.

■ Quickly responded to a sinkhole on U.S. Highway 24 outside Leadville when an abandoned railroad tunnel collapsed in July. Region 3 also made special arrangements to let two economically important bicycling events pass by the affected area, and created a warning system to alert crews if more sinkholes occur on the roadway.

“This award is all about the people who plan, program, design, build, maintain, repair, and support what is necessary for our highways to run efficiently and safely on a day-to-day basis,” Region 3 Transportation Director David Eller said in the release.


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