CDOT Begins Project to Smooth & Protect Million Dollar Highway

May 28, 2013 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and contractor United Companies will begin a preventative maintenance project on US 550 from Silverton to Ouray next Monday, June 3.

The chip seal operation will start just south of Ouray mile post 93 and continues south to mile post 75. The work was contracted to United for $800,000 and has an anticipated completion date of June 28.

A chip seal is a preventative maintenance measure designed to extend the life of a highway that is in good/fair condition for five to 10 years, depending upon traffic volumes and climate.

“A chip seal is a good example of spending a little on highway maintenance now so we can avoid higher reconstruction costs in the future,” State Transportation Commissioner Steve Parker said. “It preserves a surface that is already in decent condition and, once compacted, provides a nicer ride for motorists, as well as cyclists like me.”

TRAVEL IMPACTS: Throughout the duration of the project, motorists will encounter a lowered 25-mph speed limit and single-lane, alternating traffic through work zone areas. Lane closures for the chip seal operation may be two miles in length, with expected delays of up to 15 minutes. Motorists are urged to drive with caution and maintain a safe following distance to avoid chipped windshields.

PROJECT INFORMATION: Those with questions about the project can call the project information line at (970) 209-3332. Updated information on this or other CDOT projects is also available at or by calling 511. To receive project updates via wireless device or e-mail, visit and click on the green cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items/areas you can subscribe to.