News

Crews Wrap Up Construction on US Highway 550 Molas Pass

Improvements enhance the stability of high mountain pass road



SOUTHWEST COLORADO―Crews have completed work on two under-highway, downhill retaining walls known (also known as crib walls) on US Highway 550 Molas Pass, just south of Silverton. The work was completed one week ahead of schedule by contractor Rock & Company. The portable traffic signals have been removed and no further delays are anticipated.

The completion of this project marks the end of the third season of crib wall repairs along US 550 between Ouray and Durango. Close to $7 million in construction contracts have been invested in this mountain corridor through four separate highway improvement projects. The repairs and reconstruction will improve the safety and integrity of the highway by reinforcing these under-highway slope-side walls.

Specific sites along US 550 that were improved include:

  • Red Mountain Pass
    North of summit, four miles south of Ouray near snow shed (MP 88.5 to 88.6)
    Work: Replacement of two crib walls, excavation, culverts, retaining wall construction, minor paving
    Cost: $1.2 million
    Project Duration: July 2015 to November 2015
  • Red Mountain Pass
    North of summit, three miles south of Ouray (MP 89.5 to 89.7)
    Work: Excavation and roadway stabilization that included installation of a concrete “cap” over the existing crib wall, installation of new pipe for drainage improvements, and paving
    Cost: $1.4 million
    Project Duration: September 2015 to November 2015
  • Red Mountain Pass
    South of summit, 13 miles south of Ouray (MP 79.5 to 79.4)
    Work: Rock excavation and blasting, replacement of three crib walls below the highway, new asphalt overlay and installation of new guardrail
    Cost: $2.2 million
    Project Duration: September 2015 to August 2016
  • Molas Pass
    North of summit, two miles south of Silverton (MP 68.5 to 68.3)
    Work: Excavation and roadway stabilization, replacement of two crib walls below the highway, new asphalt overlay, striping and installation of new guardrail
    Cost: $2 million
    Project Duration: May 2017 to October 2017

CDOT and Rock & Company wish to thank southwest Colorado travelers for their patience and understanding during construction, especially the residents of the Towns of Ouray and Silverton.

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