Crews during drainage work at County Road 58P in Sawpit. Down Valley roadwork will resume Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)

With a brief reprieve through the Fourth of July weekend, construction on Highway 145 Down Valley will resume Tuesday morning.

“We'll get back to work on Tuesday morning, setting up our work zone between 7:30-7:45 a.m. and continuing until 7 p.m. each evening,” said Nancy Shanks, Colorado Department of Transportation project public information manager. “On Tuesday, the paving will begin near mile point 79.5, which is just up valley from Sawpit.”

She explained crews will most likely progress towards the Town of Telluride approximately three lane-miles a day from there.

“With that, we anticipate, progress and weather permitting, that we could be paving near Society Turn during the first few days of the week of July 13,” she added.

The project, which started in late April and slated to finish in September, is “going well,” Shanks said, as there are up to two more weeks of paving to complete.

Projects are typically paused during high-traffic times during the summer, including the Fourth of July, to quell the single-line waiting times and expedite commutes. Shanks explained more motorists are on the road now, which will affect this week’s wait times.

“Tuesday through Friday, motorists can expect single-lane, alternating traffic from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., with delays that can exceed 30 minutes depending upon traffic volumes,” she said. “And traffic volumes are certainly higher now than they were in mid-June.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Oldcastle SW Group, Inc., begin a project on April 27 to improve the surface, drainage and safety of 12.75 miles of CO Highway 145 between Telluride and Placerville. The work zone starts at mile point (MP) 71.51 (Society Turn in Telluride) and extends northwest to MP 84.24 (junction of CO 62 at Placerville).

The project includes “nearly 13 miles of asphalt overlay along the full project length, including a thin layer applied for surface ‘leveling’ along the new passing lane project section (between mile points 73.9 and 75.1) completed in 2019,” according to the project’s official website.

Extensive drainage work to mitigate flooding through the area is always part of the plan, as crews are upgrading four additional culverts to improve debris flow between mile points 77 and 81; 11 of the structures were upgraded during the 2019 project. Intersection improvements at County Road 58P in Sawpit include shoulder widening on Highway 145 for safer turning.

Guardrail replacement and adjustments along within the project’s scope and new pavement markings are part of the ongoing Down Valley project as well.

For the most up-to-date information on construction and progress, visit

In the West End, there’s another CDOT surface improvement project, which began in March and is scheduled to finish in November, on Highway 145 between Redvale and Naturita, as well as Highway 141 through Slick Rock.

“The work consists of full-depth asphalt removal and repair in some sections; and an asphalt 'leveling' and overlay of the entire stretches. Work will also include minor shouldering, guardrail replacement, centerline rumble strips and new pavement markings,” according to the project’s official website.

Motorists can expect single-lane, alternating travel through the work zones during daylight hours, Monday through Friday. Weekend work is not anticipated, though may be possible, if necessary to expedite the project’s completion. The $10.688 million project is being handled by Oldcastle SW Group, which is also completing the Down Valley work.

For more information, visit