PROJECT UPDATE:   Progress made on US Highway 550 Molas Pass Improvements

August 8, 2017 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Silverton Hardrockers and Brass Band Festival Event Goers Advised of Brief Traffic Delays this Weekend

CDOT PHOTO: Construction crew workers assemble reinforced wire mesh to accommodate layers of backfill material which will ultimately construct the crib wall or retaining wall on US 550 Molas Pass south of Silverton. The workers are anchored and tethered to stabilized bedrock for safety. Once the slope is built back up to highway level, a new road surface can be paved on top of the newly constructed crib wall.

SW COLORADO –The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and contractor Rock & Company are pleased to announce that crews have completed excavation and have started to re-build the under-highway downhill retaining walls known as crib walls on Highway (US) 550 Molas Pass, just south of Silverton. The replacement crib walls are constructed by placing layers of reinforced wire mesh, geotextile fabric (for drainage), and special backfill materials.  Once the walls have been built back up to highway level, the road surface can be paved and new guardrail will be installed.  The project is on schedule for completion in mid-October.

TRAVEL IMPACTS:   For the upcoming weekend of August 11-13, when the Town of Silverton hosts the Annual Hardrockers Holidays and the Annual Great Western Rocky Mountain Brass Band Festival, flagging crews will be managing traffic through the project zone during work hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and are prepared to manage surge traffic.  After hours and on Sunday, portable traffic light signals will be in place allowing alternating traffic at 7 minute intervals.  Motorists are urged to drive safely on this very busy weekend!

Motorists will continue to see single-lane, alternating traffic through the project zone, controlled by either flaggers or portable traffic lights through the end of the project. Delays during work hours will typically be no more than 20 minutes while non-work hour delays are usually less than 7 minutes.

PROJECT OVERVIEW: CDOT and Rock & Company continue to work to improve the safety and integrity of US 550 Molas Pass, a high mountain pass just two miles south of Silverton in San Juan County.  There are two separate crib wall replacements, one at milepost 68.6 and one at milepost 68.8.  Traffic is restricted to single-lane alternating traffic through the project zone as crews rebuild the supporting walls.

STAY INFORMED: You can call the project hotline at (970)209-3332, email us at [email protected], or visit for more information.

To sign up for “CDOT Alerts” 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  Major CDOT project updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” us on Facebook.