No More US 550 Through-Lane Closures North of College

May 28, 2014 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Impacts decrease as work zone moves south of College and west on US 160

DURANGO – The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Concrete Works of Colorado are pleased to announce that there are no more travel-lane closures anticipated in the business section of US 550/Camino del Rio north of College Drive). The only remaining work in the business section of the project will be on the pedestrian railings on the west side of Camino del Rio, from College Drive to 9th Street, and a few signs—but this work can be completed without impacting traffic lanes. Minimal remaining striping on the side streets (College and 9th) can also be done without lane closures on US 550 (Camino del Rio).

Since the project began on March 17—just over two months ago—crews have accomplished the following (more specific details are below):

  1. Reconfigured and reconstructed significant portions of the US 550 College Drive signalized intersection to include raised crosswalks and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) features;
  2. Reconstructed all of College Drive west of US 550 (Camino del Rio);
  3. Added and reconstructed sidewalks on US 550 from College Drive north to 7th Street;
  4. Added bike lanes and colored bike boxes US 550 from College Dr. north, on College Dr. from the Animas River Trail to Main Ave., and on 9th Street from the Animas River Bridge to Main Ave.;
  5. Reconstructed several driveways and multiple overhead utility lines underground on US 550, from College to 7th St.;
  6. Constructed raised vegetated medians (some will be landscaped later by the City) to include pedestrian refuge at the 7th Street pedestrian crossing (the Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon).

As noted above, the only work items north of College yet to be completed (and without impacting US 550 Camino lanes of travel) include:

  1. Bike railing on the west side of US 550 between College Drive and 9th Street;
  2. A few roadside sign installations;
  3. Side street striping.


US 160 WEST Single-lane closures in both directions during work hours for sidewalk, guardrail and signal work (left turns onto northbound Roosa are open).

ROOSA AVENUE - Through Friday, 24-hours a day:  southbound fully closed as crews work to construct the raised crosswalk and island at US 160 West and Roosa Ave.

US 550/CAMINO DEL RIO SOUTHBOUND Shoulder (BTW. 9TH & COLLEGE) – Possible shoulder closure while crews install bike railing along the adjacent retaining wall to complete the SB Bike lanes.

More Information on What’s New:

Many new traffic markings and features are now visible, and many of them will require some extra attention from motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. These are changes that, in addition to the Continuous Flow Intersection at the US 160/550 junction, will help meet growing safety and mobility needs of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in this area.

  • Intersection improvements at Camino del Rio (US 550) and College Drive – The traffic signal and College Drive lanes approaching US 550 (Camino del Rio) have been reconfigured for more efficient signal operation for all approaches. College Drive now has the following:  
    • Bike lanes in each direction (none existed previously);
    • One eastbound travel lane (there used to be two);
    • A double-yellow striped median (which motorists may cross while making left-hand turns into adjacent businesses);
    • Two westbound dedicated left-hand turn lanes (there used to be one dedicated left and one left-turn/through lane);
    • One westbound through lane (which used to be shared with a left turn);
    • One westbound dedicated right-turn lane (one existed previously).
    • Concurrent left turning and through movements from College in both directions:  motorists making left turns onto Camino del Rio from both directions on College will now be able to go through the signal at the same time, which also allows EB and WB through movements to occur at the same time—improving signal efficiency and easing congestion. Prior to the intersection work, all of westbound (WB) College would receive a green, followed by all of eastbound (EB) receiving a green because there was insufficient room in the center of the intersection for both left turns to go concurrently. This did not allow any EB and WB movements (through or left turns) to occur at the same time and resulted in inefficient signal operations. The College/Camino del Rio signal has been re-timed to enable the concurrent EB and WB movements.  Further timing changes will occur at US 550 and College once the US 160 and US 550 CFI is complete.
    • BENEFITS: The busiest stretch of College is WB between US 550 and Main Avenue, which daily sees 600-vehicles per hour during the summer pm peak hours. The new lane configuration accommodates this majority by providing additional lanes and turn movements and the signal will now accommodate both directions to run at the same time. Bike lanes accommodate safer travel for the increasing numbers of cylists.
  • Improvements for Bicyclists – Travelers will notice many new cycling features on Camino del Rio, College and 9th streets. Cycling improvements include:
  • Bike Lanes – Interconnected 5- to 6-foot bike lanes are on Camino del Rio, portions of College Drive and 9th Street (and later in the project, will be on US 160 West).
  • Green Bike Lanes – Green dashed markings where motorist paths cross bike lanes to heighten motorist awareness of cyclists within bike lanes.
  • Green Bike Boxes – These are designated painted spaces for cyclists to wait in front of stopped motorized traffic; the boxes make cyclists more visible to motorists by placing them in front of stopped motorists while both wait for a green signal indication for their respective movements through the intersection.
  • Green Backed Sharrows – These bike symbols with integrated arrows are placed where motorists and cyclists need to share a lane to make their respective movements at intersections and where insufficient room exists for a separate bike lane (these are present within US 550 and College Drive right-turn lanes, and on 9th Street. (Shared Lane Markings without a green backing already exist on Main Ave. and Roosa Ave.).
  • Signing – Signing has been installed (a few more will be placed) to emphasize appropriate traffic movements and yielding behavior for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Bicycle Capable Signal Detection – The work at US 550/College required new signal detection for motorists and cyclists. The selected detection system works equally well detecting both cyclists and motorists.
  • BENEFITS: These features have been successfully implemented by cities across the US with active cycling communities like Durango, such as Portland, OR, Boulder, CO, Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA, as well as many others. These features will help Durango safely accommodate this increasingly popular mode of travel.
  • Improvements for Pedestrians – To serve pedestrian transportation needs, these project features have been installed:
  • Raised Curbed Medians and Islands – Pedestrians crossing at 7th Street (and later in the project at US 160 West at the dog park) now have shorter crossing distances and protected refuge within raised medians in the center of Camino del Rio (and later US 160 West) and on islands at three of the four quadrants at the Camino del Rio/College Drive intersection.
  • Raised Crosswalks – For un-signalized right turns with islands, such as at Camino del Rio/College, raised crosswalks are now in place to slow right-turning traffic and emphasize that motorists are to yield to pedestrians.
  • Signing – Updated signing that emphasizes where motorists must yield to pedestrians and cyclists will be installed pre and post-holiday.
  • Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB) – An upgraded RRFB now exists at Camino del Rio and 7th Street. The CFI project has provided the raised median here (described above); also, a second RRFB crossing with raised median will be installed at US 160 West at the dog park.
  • Added and Reconstructed Sidewalks- Additional sidewalk and reconstructed sidewalks from College to 7th Street.
  • BENEFITS:  Pedestrian refuge provides a location for pedestrians to wait that is physically separated from the roadway, and it also provides shorter crossing distances, both of which improve pedestrian safety and mobility. Raised medians and shorter pedestrian distances also offer collateral safety and mobility benefits to motorists.
  • Intersection Safety/Transit Mobility – A “DO NOT BLOCK” intersection box (large white box with X) has been painted in the intersection at 7th and will be accompanied by a sign with this message to be installed post-holiday. This pavement marking and sign will communicate to motorists the need to keep the intersection clear, not only for their own safety and mobility but for buses entering and exiting the City’s transit center.

HOW TO GET PROJECT AND CFI INFORMATION: For questions regarding the project, the public can call the public information line at (970) 238-1669. The best way to stay up-to-date on project progress, traffic impacts and more is to sign up for email and wireless (text) alerts. Go to CDOT's web site at and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Enter your information and choose "US 160/550 Durango" under the "projects" list. If you would like to reach the project information team directly, please call the hotline at 970-238-1669 or email us at [email protected].

More information on this and other CFI projects is located here: