ROCKFALL UPDATE - US 550 Red Mountain Pass

January 30, 2014 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Pass opens twice a day starting Friday morning. OPEN: 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. / OPEN: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

OURAY COUNTY – Starting tomorrow morning, January 31, Red Mountain Pass will be open to single-lane, alternating traffic two times a day—once from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and again and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All traffic will use the southbound lane; the northbound (inside) lane will remain closed while a barrier and a temporary 24-foot-high rockfall fence is placed inside the highway center line.

Currently, CDOT and rockfall contractor Yenter Companies are setting 600 feet of concrete barrier on the highway to separate the work area from the open lane for traffic. Following each morning and afternoon road opening period, the highway will be closed again at mile marker (MM) 87 at Ironton Park (about 17 miles north of Silverton) and MM 92, just south of Ouray. The closure is necessary while crews work in the narrow roadway to install the fence, which will be constructed out of the remaining 12’ by 72’ rockfall netting panels. The on-road fencing will serve as an additional temporary safeguard in this still slide-prone area until a more permanent solution can be implemented.

“We have been working towards this announcement for nearly three weeks, and we are very happy to be making it today,” CDOT Region 5 Transportation Director Kerrie Neet. “Crews will continue to work seven days a week until the fence is installed, which is expected to take about a week, weather permitting. Once the fence is up, we will open the highway to traffic 24/7, with single-lane, alternating traffic controlled by temporary traffic signals.”

If post-storm conditions lead to more rockfall activity in the area, CDOT may need to alter this traffic schedule. Motorists are strongly urged to check road conditions and closure information frequently (via the options below) to avoid travel delays.

ALTERNATE ROUTE & INFORMATION: Travelers will use the following highways for an alternate route:  SH 62, SH 145 and US 160. 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 and choosing the green phone icon in the upper right corner.

MORE INFORMATION:  Briefs and photos are posted on CDOT’s Media Room page at and full press releases, which have been issued each night after the end-of-day briefing meeting, are posted at: