CDOT Begins FASTER-Funded Safety Improvements on US 50 West of Blue Mesa Reservoir

April 22, 2013 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - GUNNISON COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation has begun a major safety improvement project on US 50, west of Blue Mesa Reservoir. The work zone lies between the east end of Pleasant Valley (mile point 117.6) and the east side of Blue Creek Summit (MP 121.7).

The project will straighten curves and flatten hills; construct an eastbound climbing lane; widen shoulders; and improve drainage with new culverts. (Future phases will take these same improvements further east to Windy Point, at MP 126.5). The work will also address a slide area adjacent to the highway and resurface the entire stretch.

“Safety will be increased by incorporating straightened curves and flattened hills to improve sight distance for motorists,” CDOT Resident Engineer Ron Alexander said.  “The climbing lane will provide safer passing opportunities and paved, widened shoulders will also enhance safety for motorists and cyclists.”

The project, contracted to SEMA Construction for $11.5 million, is receiving some FASTER* funding.

TRAVEL IMPACTS: The project will continue into November; if not completed this season, work will resume in the spring of 2014 when weather permits and be completed in early summer. Traffic impacts, expected to start in May, will occur Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motorists can expect single-lane, alternating traffic with delays of up to 15 minutes. When necessary, traffic will be fully stopped in both directions for brief periods, but only during work hours. Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone!

For updated project information, the public may call the Project Information Line at 970-560-2062. For CDOT Road Condition & Traveler Information, please go to or call 511. Sign up for email or wireless alerts on road conditions in your chosen area by logging on to and choosing the green phone icon.