Rockfall Work Suspended for Winter on US 550 Red Mountain Pass

November 16, 2011 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - OURAY COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation has suspended work for the winter on a project to reduce rockfall on US 550 on Red Mountain Pass south of Ouray.

The work, which began October 10, lies between the Bear Creek Tunnel and the snow shed (mile marker 91). The two-season project will resume in May 1, 2012, when weather permits, and will be completed by June 15, 2012.

The safety improvement project, contracted to Midwest Rockfall, Inc., of Denver for $845,880, involves rockfall reduction measures between mile posts 88 and 91. The mitigation will include:

1.    minor rock scaling - rocks will be brought down with pry-bars or inflatable bags;

2.    rock stabilization -  crews will drill 1 3/8”-diameter holes (approximately 20 feet apart) down to fracture points, then fill holes with a Poly-Urethane Resin, which acts as a kind of glue;

3.    rock bolting - crews will drill and insert 10-foot-long steel dowels and 25-foot long steel rock bolts into various locations to provide further stabilization;

4.    rockfall netting - several types of rockfall wire mesh/netting will be anchored from above to guide smaller rocks into ditch below;

For information on this project, the public may call Midwest Rockfall, Inc.’s Public Information Manager Scott Drawz, at (970) 462-1529. (For information on other CDOT projects statewide, the public may log on to or call 511.) Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone!