Travelers on U.S. Highway 160 south of Cortez will be guided by new lights near the Ute Mountain Ute reservation.
“More than 200 solar LED lights were installed and embedded into the pavement of U.S. 160 earlier this summer,” said Rick Routh, Colorado Department of Transportation Region 5 traffic and safety engineer.
The lights, used to delineate lanes, enhance the nighttime visibility at three junctions, auxiliary lanes and merging lanes at the casino and Towaoc town entrance. The lighting is expected to improve safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“This stretch of highway can see up to 7,000 vehicles daily,” said Routh. “The public has already begun providing positive comments on the benefits of the improved delineation at night through this busy corridor.”
A steel disk houses the small energy-efficient LED bulb and a solar cell, which collects the sun’s energy during daylight hours. The lightbulb illuminates at dusk.
The disk is set into the road just below the surface of the pavement, which allows traffic and heavy equipment, such as snowplows, to drive over the device.
An initial inspection of the lighted area was recently completed by CDOT traffic and safety personnel.
CDOT maintenance crews will monitor the lighting for the next few months.