**TRAVEL UPDATE**: All Southwest Colorado Passes Now Open

January 25, 2017 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - **TRAVEL UPDATE**: All Southwest Colorado Passes Now Open

Crews work to get US 550 Red Mountain Pass open before nightfall

SW & S-CENTRAL COLORADO – After a ruthless series of storms hit the region, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) was able to perform avalanche control work and clear snowslides from several state and US highways in southwest and south-central Colorado. As of early evening on Wednesday, Jan. 25, all mountain passes were open.  

“Snow removal operations will carry on for the next few days,” said Vance Kelso, maintenance supervisor for the north US 550 corridor. “Motorists who come over all our mountain passes within the region need to be aware of heavy equipment that will continue to widen the highways. There is still a significant amount of snow on the roads.”   

The last pass to open was US Highway (US) 550 Red Mountain Pass which is located between the mountain communities of Silverton and Ouray. Red Mountain Pass was closed from 11:00 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23 until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The pass was closed for the duration of that time due to adverse weather conditions and avalanche danger.

Other passes which were intermittently closed since Friday, Jan. 20 included US 550 Molas and Coal Bank Passes, CO Highway 145 Lizard Head Pass, US 160 Wolf Creek Pass, US 50 Monarch Pass and CO 17 Cumbres-La Manga Pass. All highway mountain passes in southwest and south-central Colorado saw periodic closures either because of high avalanche danger or for snow removal operations.   

STAY INFORMED: Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting www.COtrip.org. Also available on the COtrip site are:

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 www.codot.gov and choose the envelope icon at the bottom of the page. Or, to see CDOT’s lane closure reports for projects statewide, visit www.codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html

CDOT PHOTO (also attached):

About seven miles north of Silverton, a heavy equipment operator completes clearing the highway where a snowslide was triggered by an avalanche mitigation crew. The snowslide, known as Eagle, was brought down on US 550 just south of Red Mountain Pass summit and measured ten feet deep on the slope side of the highway. The avalanche control work ensures safety for the traveling public – the road is closed while crews perform operations.