Crews Add Passing Lanes to Colorado's U.S. 64

Work is underway on a $7.9 million Colorado Department of Transportation project to construct two eastbound passing lanes on U.S. 24, east of Johnson Village in Chaffee County, Colo.

📅   Wed May 25, 2016 - West Edition
Chuck Harvey - CEG CORRESPONDENT


Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
The project includes rock excavation and hauling, minor blasting operations, pavement reconstruction, earthwork, signing and striping.
Tezak Heavy Equipment photo The project includes rock excavation and hauling, minor blasting operations, pavement reconstruction, earthwork, signing and striping.
Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
The project includes rock excavation and hauling, minor blasting operations, pavement reconstruction, earthwork, signing and striping. Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
Work started in July 2015 and is scheduled for completion in September of this year. Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
Work is underway on a $7.9 million Colorado Department of Transportation project to construct two eastbound passing lanes on U.S. 24, east of Johnson Village in Chaffee County, Colo. Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
Tezak Heavy Equipment will have about 14 workers on the job each day. Subcontractors will range from five to 15 workers daily.
Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
Safety is a major feature of the project that adds separate uphill passing zones between mile point 217.5 to 218.5 and 221.7 to 222.64.
Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
The project requires 11,253 tons (10,208.5 t) of asphalt for the passing lanes.
A drone captures a bird’s eye view of work on U.S. 24 Trout Creek. Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
U.S. Route 24 is a major east-west route in Colorado. It traverses the Rocky Mountains, starting near Minturn.
Tezak Heavy Equipment photo
The project also includes restoration of Trout Creek.

Work is underway on a $7.9 million Colorado Department of Transportation project to construct two eastbound passing lanes on U.S. 24, east of Johnson Village in Chaffee County, Colo.

Tezak Heavy Equipment Inc. of Canon City, Colo., is contractor. The company made the successful low bid of $6.6 million for contracting duties.

Project foreman is Kevin Horst. Superintendents are Aurion Dransfield and Jim Bunker of Tezak Heavy Equipment Co. Inc.

Mario J. Jimenez is project manager for Tezak Heavy Equipment and John Hixon of Bechtolt Engineering in Durango, Colo., is consulting project engineer for Colorado Department of Transportation.

Safety is a major feature of the project that adds separate uphill passing zones between mile point 217.5 to 218.5 and 221.7 to 222.64. The project includes rock excavation and hauling, minor blasting operations, pavement reconstruction, earthwork, signing and striping.

Work started in July 2015 and is scheduled for completion in September of this year. That's barring any adverse weather or construction delays.

Work was set to resume April 25 after it shut down for winter break on March 7.

“Once construction resumes, we will complete remaining rock and unclassified excavation and will commence with the major road widening,” said Adele Swift, Tezak Heavy Equipment project coordinator.

Swift said that as of March, the project was about 60 percent complete. “The rock excavation is 100 percent complete, but there will be some additional rock excavation to complete the CDOT's request,” she said.

The added lanes will provide safer passing opportunities.

Motorists' site distance also will be improved.

Roadway Is All Asphalt

The project requires 11,253 tons (10,208.5 t) of asphalt for the passing lanes. Crews also will lay 532 cu. yds. (406.7 cu m) of concrete for a concrete box culvert extension.

Tezak Heavy Equipment was ready to move heavy equipment on site including multiple excavators, loaders, graders, highway haul trucks and miscellaneous support equipment.

“Our wire mesh installation subcontractor will have a crane on site to drill the anchors for the wire mesh,” Swift said. “Once asphalt paving commences, our paving subcontractor will have a large paving crew on site with multiple rollers, asphalt paver and multiple haul trucks on site as well.”

Subcontractors for the project include A & S Construction of Thornton, Colo.; Advanced Shoring and Underpinning of Lehi, Utah; Baerren Concrete Construction of Littleton, Colo.; Hutton Concrete Cutting of Pueblo, Colo.; Montano Concrete of Pueblo, Colo.; and Trax Construction of Colorado Springs, Colo. A total of 16 subcontractors will have been used by the time the project concludes.

Tezak Heavy Equipment will have about 14 workers on the job each day. Subcontractors will range from five to 15 workers daily.

U.S. 24 Is a Major Thoroughfare

U.S. Route 24 is a major east-west route in Colorado. It traverses the Rocky Mountains, starting near Minturn. It then continues east for about 30 mi. (48.3 km) to Leadville where it turns south and goes to Buena Vista where it becomes concurrent with U.S. 285.

The route was originally built in 1936.

Travel Impacts

The Colorado Department of Transportation reports that travelers will be subject to some single-lane travel from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reports on lane closures can be found at www.codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html.

Speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph through the construction zone.

No night or weekend work is currently scheduled for the project.

Project Challenges

“The biggest challenge we had on the project was rock excavation-blasting,” Swift said. “Due to the limited right of way and the condition of the existing rock formation, we had to be extremely cautious during rock blasting and rock removal. We are pleased to say that this project had 17,672.25 of manpower hours with no reportable accidents.”