CDOT Begins Repairs & Replacement of Crib Walls Below US 550 on Red Mtn. Pass

June 24, 2015 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - OURAY & SAN JUAN COUNTIES – The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin a project on July 7 to repair five crib walls (retaining walls) below US 550 on Red Mountain Pass. The estimated total cost of this work (from design through construction) is $5.7 million.

The construction contract was awarded to Rock & Company of Brighton, CO. This is a two-season project, scheduled for completion this by November 15, 2015, followed by a winter shutdown, and likely running from mid-April to late June 2016, weather permitting.

This project consists of repairing and replacing crib walls at the following work sites, listed in order of work dates (all dates weather permitting):

  • Site 2 MM 88.5 to 88.6 – Approx. 4 miles south of Ouray near snow shed

Begins: July 7th 2015/Ends: September 15th 2015

Excavation, culverts, retaining wall construction, minor paving

  • Site 1 MM 79.5 to MM 79.4 – Just south of Red Mtn. Pass summit

Begins: September 1st 2015/Ends: November 15th 2015

Rock excavation and blasting, retaining wall construction

  • Site 3 MM 89.5 to MM 89.7 – Approx. 3 miles South of Ouray

Begins: Between September 15th and October 6th (depending on San Miguel Power Company’s repair project)/Ends: November 15th 2015

Excavation and roadway stabilization that includes installation of a concrete “cap” or slab over the crib wall, drainage improvements and paving

This stretch of US 550 receives an average annual daily traffic count of 2,164 vehicles a day. The repair project will improve the safety and integrity of the highway by reinforcing these under-highway slope-side walls.

“These crib walls are in critical need of repair and replacement,” CDOT Region 5 Program Engineer Ed Archuleta said. “We need to address this now to avoid emergency repairs.”

TRAVEL IMPACTS: Anticipated travel impacts are some single-lane, alternating traffic, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be two nights of full closures to enable crews to install a pipe under the highway. These will be announced in advance.) In October, there will be full traffic stops in both directions between approximately MM 89-91 (Engineer Pass Road will remain accessible from the south and, at times, from the north); potentially, these closures will be half day only—with hours to be determined. In 2016, the impacts are expected to be similar, though the majority of the work will be at Site 1. More details of 2016 work will be known once this current season is complete.

PROJECT INFORMATION:  For updates or to ask questions, the public may call the contractor’s project information line at (970) 209-3332. To sign up to receive project information and/or lane closure updates on state highways in the area of your choice, visit CDOT’s website at and choose the envelope icon at the bottom of the page. Or, to see CDOT’s lane closure reports for projects statewide, visit A brief on all upcoming projects (titled “Summer Construction Books” or soon “Traffic Watchers”) in CDOT’s Region 5 (SW Colorado) is posted here: