US 550 Red Mountain, Molas and Coal Bank Passes Open

SOUTHWEST COLORADO— The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has opened US Highway (US) 550 north of Durango. Crews were able to successfully conduct avalanche control work and clear snow from the road, completing operations at approximately 1:30 p.m.

All three US 550 passes—Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain—were closed at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, due to multiple snow slides on the highway and increased avalanche danger.


Drivers in passenger and commercial vehicles must follow Colorado's traction and chain laws, which are implemented when conditions require them. When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated. Without proper equipment, motorists can be fined $130. If your vehicle blocks the roadway, you could be fined more than $650.

  • Passenger vehicles:
    • Traction Law (Code 15)—Motorists will need snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle. All tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.
    • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16)—Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).
  • Commercial vehicles:
    • Commercial Chain Law (Code 18)—All commercial vehicles must chain up. Code 18 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the pavement on an ascending grade and to minimize road closures.


    Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting COtrip. Available on/from the COtrip site are:

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