US 550 Molas Pass Cribwalls Project to Begin May 8

Project scheduling makes effort to accommodate Iron Horse and Ride the Rockies events

Starting on Monday, May 8, 2017, and continuing through mid-October, CDOT and contractor Rock & Company will begin improving the safety and integrity of US Highway (US) 550 by replacing several under-highway downhill retaining walls, known as crib walls, on Molas Pass, just south of Silverton in San Juan County.

Please note: The start date may be delayed due to potential spring avalanche and slide danger posing a threat to crews.

Crews will reconstruct two separate crib walls—one at mile point (MP) 68.6 and one at MP 68.75, approximately two miles south of Silverton. During construction, motorists will be restricted to single-lane alternating traffic through the project zone.

This will be a busy summer for cycling events in the region, and project schedulers have taken note. From 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 27—the day of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Road Races—US 550 between Purgatory and Silverton will be closed to all motorized traffic to ensure riders' safety. Within the project zone, cyclists will encounter a short, single-lane section within the project limits. After the road is reopened that day, motorists will encounter one-lane alternating closures controlled by flaggers.

Two weeks later, on Wednesday, June 14—during the Ride the Rockies event—cyclists will be traveling between Durango and Ridgway via US 550. Although the project area will remain restricted to single-lane traffic during the event, project staff members are working to make sure that the riders and their support teams have minimal delays.

Additionally, the project team will remain in close communication with the Town of Silverton to inform the mountain community of work anticipated during weeks of special events, such as the 4th of July holiday.

Travel Impacts

  • Normal work hours will be 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
  • From May 8-15, there will be occasional single-lane restrictions controlled by flaggers as crews mobilize and bring in equipment and set up work zones.
  • From May 15 - Oct. 15, anticipated travel impacts are single-lane, alternating traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, controlled by flaggers or portable traffic signals.
  • Wait times will typically be up to 20 minutes during work periods.
  • Wait times during non-work periods will be approximately 10 minutes or fewer.
  • There may be occasional Sunday workdays, which will be announced in advance.

Stay Informed