Wolf Creek Pass, CO — Culverts relined in mountain pass
Culverts Relined in Colorado Mountain Pass
Wolf Creek Pass is a mountain pass, elevation 10,857 feet, located on the Continental Divide in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Highway US 160 runs through Wolf Creek Pass as it moves along from the San Luis Valley into southwest Colorado, on its way to New Mexico and Arizona. The pass is steep on either side and can be dangerous in winter. The pass also houses the Wolf Creek ski resort, which is located on the east side of the Continental Divide off of US 160. The pass itself is a tourist destination.
Major repairs were taking place on highway US 160, including paving and widening that affected the road through the mountain pass. Located underneath the section of highway in the mountain pass, there were two culverts that were worn out. Leaving the culverts in this state of disrepair could result in an entire road collapse. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) decided to repair these culverts as part of the highway improvement project.
Also, CDOT needed the culverts repaired quickly because the construction window in the area is very short due to the climate and elevation of the mountain pass. Snow has a tendency to last from September through July. The height of the mountain pass also limited the access for fixing the culverts. Therefore, a dig and replace method was not an option. Relining the culverts was the best solution.