CDOT paves the way for transportation


Morgan Mallonee, Reporter

The Colorado Department of Transportation is a government operation that provides Colorado with safe public highways for transportation. CDOT’s relations to Durango High School are very relevant for students who use public highways.

CDOT has an important connection to DHS because the students who drive and use public highways and bridges rely on CDOT’s ability to keep the roads safe.

“We all travel from point A to point B to point C, and CDOT has an impact on that travel,” said Lisa Schwantes, region 5 Communications Manager.

Students at DHS may not realize how much effort and thought of safety goes into their basic commute to school. CDOT cares about the community and wants to make sure everyone gets to where they need to be without risk or danger.

CDOT did some very impactful projects around Durango.

“This past summer, we performed a very large multi-million dollar surface treatment project through the town of Durango. This enhancement went right in front of DHS,” said Schwantes.

CDOT goes through extreme processes to minimize impacts in scheduling work. They don’t like their work to interfere with anyone’s commute and everyday route.

Jessica Ebel is a project engineer at CDOT and is very knowledgeable about recent projects in all divisions of work at CDOT.

“When we work on projects we like to keep momentum” said Ebel.

Again, CDOT shows us the amount of thought that goes into preparation for a project. They try to make it the least amount of worry for the people of durango on their commute.

Many DHS students recognize the CDOT trucks around town.

“I would like DHS students to know that we are not law enforcement and we are here to help,” said Ebel.

Although Durango may not be experiencing much snowfall this year, CDOT helps immensely during snow season. They try to keep snow off the roads by plowing, but then they try to prevent snow falling onto the road after its been plowed by using the howitzer gun. Getting rid of snow on roads during the winter is one of the many ways CDOT helps our community.

The Howitzer Gun is a machine used by CDOT to trigger avalanches before they start.

It is a very smart and unique way of preventing wild avalanches that are dangerous on passes.

“Snow storms are certainly a way of life for us living here along the San Juan Mountain Range. CDOT encourages the public to use our online services to keep informed about road conditions,” said Schwantes.

Road conditions in the winter become very problematic for residents trying to drive themselves one place to another. CDOT is the reason residents are safe and have the privilege of driving with all precautions necessary.

“We’re just trying to get the snow down, and make roads safe for the public,” said Ebel.