Three Separate Projects to Begin September 8 on US 550 Red Mtn. Pass

August 21, 2015 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Weekday pass closures will be in effect, with pass open midday each day and on evenings and weekends.

OURAY COUNTY - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has worked to coordinate three separate projects on US 550 over Red Mountain Pass and schedule them to create the least possible impact on travelers. These three projects are in need of immediate attention this 2015-16 construction season, for the safety of all travelers.

Below are details on the highway closure and the scope of the three separate projects, which are all using this same road closure zone to complete the work in a timely manner:

(OPEN: noon to 1 P.M. and after 5 P.M. each weekday; fully open on weekends)
All three projects have work underway within the MP 87 to MP 91 closure zone. There will be FULL CLOSURES Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (OPEN NOON TO 1 PM) through October 8 (if weather becomes a factor, closures could be extended further into October – please check back or check “Travel Alerts” on

US 550 CDOT Rock Fall Fence Maintenance
Estimated Cost: $15,000
Work: This project consists removing the mid-slope rock fall fence at Ruby Walls (approximately mile point or MP 90), clear the captured rock debris, and reinstall the fence. Work is expected to take approximately five days, weather dependent.
Travel Impacts:  See closure details, above.
Project Contact:  (970) 385-1428

US 550 San Miguel Power Association’s Power Line Repair
Work: The power company will repair downed transmission lines between MP 89 and 90 that were impacted in last year’s rock fall event.
Travel Impacts:  See closure details, above.
Duration: September 8 – October 8, 2015 (potentially later, dependent upon conditions)
Project Contact (only for specific questions about SMPA’s work):  (970) 209-5593

US 550 CDOT Crib Wall Repairs
Project Cost: $5.7 million budgeted
Contractor: Rock & Company
Work: This project consists of repairing seven existing crib walls at three separate sites on Red Mountain Pass south of Ouray, as well as rock excavation at one site.
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL IMPACTS (in addition to full closures detailed above):

  • SITE #1 (MP 79.3) – Through November 15, 2015:  Single-lane traffic; *possible five days of full closures – to be announced at a later date (these would follow same closure schedule, as described above).
  • SITE #2 (MP 88.5-88.5) – Through September 15, 2015:  Likely single-lane, alternating traffic controlled by a signal 24/7 at the MP 88.5 work site (outside the closure periods, e.g., single-lane traffic on evenings and weekends).
  • SITE #3 (MP 89.7) – Through May 20, 2016 (with winter suspension of work):  Full closures as described above through October 8, 2015, weather permitting. After October 8, or during the 2016 season, there may be five additional days of half-day closures (8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.). Otherwise, expect single-lane, alternating traffic here through the remainder of the project—to November 15, weather permitting. From April 2016 (weather permitting) through May 20, 2016, expect single-lane, alternating traffic at this site.

Project Contact: (970) 209-3332

PROJECT INFORMATION:  For updated information, or to view the project impact map, the public may log onto the US 550 Red Mountain Pass project web site at To sign up for CDOT updates on projects in your chosen area, 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: