The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced that a two-month-long asphalt project on a downvalley section of Highway 82 will start Monday.

Crews will remove the surface of the asphalt driving lanes and add a new layer to even out the road surface at peeling and rutted areas. Paving operations between 24th Street in Glenwood Springs and mile-marker 12, just past the main Carbondale exit, are expected to be finished by October.

The project is part of the “Whole System-Whole Safety” program improvements for the Highway 82 corridor, CDOT said in a news release. The transportation department prioritized the downvalley section of highway because of its condition: Significant rutting often results in standing water on the road.

“This project will provide an improved driving surface and help ensure the longevity and safety of our infrastructure,” the release says.

During the milling and paving activity, motorists should anticipate stretches of lane closures, reduced speed limits and narrowed roads during daylight hours. The work areas generally will be shifting in a “stair-step pattern,” with efforts occurring first in the left passing lane then moving into the right travel lane, according to the release. 

Delays are anticipated. 

“There are several areas where lane closures will mean narrow travel lanes,” said Gregg Rippy of Grand River Construction in Glenwood Springs. The company is the project’s general contractor.

“It is critical that motorists follow the reduced speed signage in the work areas to keep both fellow motorists and our crews safe on the project. Give the road your full attention. Don’t be on your cell phones, look out for other vehicles, and please, watch for our flaggers and workers,” Rippy said in the release.

In order to minimize impacts, there will be no lane closures during the morning traffic peak for the eastbound/upvalley lanes (toward Aspen from 6-9 a.m.) or during the afternoon peak for the westbound/downvalley lanes (toward Glenwood Springs, 3-7 p.m.).

The downvalley milling and paving project is part of an overall $7.3 million contract that CDOT awarded to Grand River Construction, the release states. Other projects being tackled under the contract include guardrail replacement, utility work, ramp improvements and striping. 

In addition, the contract covers chip seal and striping work on U.S. Highway 6 between Rifle and New Castle, the release says.

To sign up for traffic and trail impact updates, send an email to co82info@gmail.com or call (970) 340-4333.