Rockfall Update - US 550 Red Mountain Pass

January 21, 2014 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - More safety line set today, rockfall netting arrives and prepped for transport.

OURAY COUNTY – Technical climbers from Ouray’s Rigging for Rescue completed a 1,500-foot ropes path today on the north side of the talus slope (or debris field), as well as a 300-plus foot safety line across the top of the talus slope.

Tomorrow and likely Thursday, crews from CDOT and rockfall contractor Yenter Companies will work to get 40,000 square feet of wire cable netting transported by helicopter to the talus slope. There are 47 mesh panels, each 12-ft. by 72-ft. (see photo, below), to be transported and anchored and/or laid on the site.

After the cable netting is installed, the next step will be to look at the areas outside the net—particularly to the right of the talus slope where rocks run down towards the roadway—and determine a course to safely scale those areas.

There is no estimated date for a reopening of the highway at this time.

ALTERNATE ROUTE:  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 about 154 miles. For information on other CDOT projects, the public may call 511 or log onto CDOT’s traveler information web site at Better yet, sign up to receive email and/or text messages by going to CDOT’s web site at and choosing the green phone icon in the upper right corner.