Red Mountain Pass FULLY OPEN to two-way travel at 6:30 p.m. today!

June 12, 2014 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Rockfall mitigation is complete; possible project to repair a crib wall below the highway in early fall

OURAY/SAN JUAN COUNTIES – The Million Dollar Highway will open today at 6:30 p.m., right on schedule (the target opening was June 13). The Colorado Department of Transportation has been conducting this second phase of rockfall mitigation above US 550 just south of Ouray since April 24. The two phases of rockfall work (the first being the emergency work that was conducted last January and February) have totaled about $1.4 million in construction costs.

During this second phase, CDOT and contractor Midwest Rockfall have conducted the following activities:

  • Placed an additional 2,000 SF of wire mesh on the slope (via helicopter) north of the existing 31,000 square feet of mesh to help contain remaining loose rock;
  • Installed a rockfall fence at mid-slope, below the wire mesh; the fence materials were painted a dark brown to blend into the hillside;
  • Removed the fence on the roadway after the installation of the mid-slope fence is installed, enabling two-way travel;
  • Patched the roadway damage, paved and restriped the highway.

“This project team has done a fantastic job,” CDOT Region 5 Transportation Director Kerrie Need said. “They met the target date for a full opening, and without compromising safety. We’re very happy to be getting this critical highway back open and we thank the Ouray and Silverton communities for their patience and support throughout.”

VISIT OURAY & SILVERTON! US 550 over Red Mountain pass is part of Colorado’s Scenic and Historic San Juan Skyway, also an “All American Road.” There’s plenty to do and see in the historic mining towns of Ouray and Silverton, including a stop along the pass to view the stunning Bear Creek Falls, a few miles south of Ouray.

Learn more on these sites:

Silverton Activities and Information:

Ouray Activities and Information:

San Juan Skyway:

PLAN OTHER TRIPS THROUGH COLORADO - To receive real-time updates about state highway road conditions in your area, visit and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at Live road conditions are available at, by downloading the CDOT Mobile app or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at