Rock scaling may impact your summer travel plans

By: Nick Rothschild Email
By: Nick Rothschild Email


From Ouray to Durango (a distance of 70 miles using US 550) motorists will instead use SH 62 from Ridgway over Dallas Divide, SH 145 over Lizard Head Pass, then US 160, for a trip of 154 miles (an 88-mile detour).

OURAY/SAN JUAN COUNTY, Colo. Rock scaling along US 550 on Red Mountain Pass will cause intermittent closures of the highway that may delay summer traveling.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is beginning a project to scale rocks off the mountainside above US 550 on Red Mountain Pass, an area that was closed nearly a month due to a large rockslide on January 12th.

In order to complete the project, beginning Monday, April 23, US 550 on Red Mountain Pass will be fully closed between Ironton Park (mm 87) and south of Ouray (mm 92) during the following hours: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturdays.

The scaling will involve climbing to the rockfall site above US 550, removing and repairing the existing rock fence, and installing rockfall monitoring equipment. CDOT will hire a contractor to do this work.

This work is estimated to cost $928,000, although CDOT is planning an additional summer mitigation project that could total near $2.3 million.

To receive real-time updates about state highway road conditions in your area, visit the link to the right.

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