Red Mountain Pass Closures set for Oct. 8, 9 & 11

Oct. 2, 2018 - Crews Performing Cliff Work on Ruby Walls South of Ouray

SOUTHWEST COLORADO—US Highway 550 Red Mountain Pass will be closed for extended lengths of time on three separate days next week. The long closures are required for crews repairing the netting and fencing on the Ruby Walls' cliff face, about three miles south of Ouray.

Travel Impacts

On Monday, Oct. 8, Tuesday, Oct. 9 and Thursday, Oct. 11, expect the following closure schedule in both directions of US 550:

Red Mountain Pass Closed
8 a.m. - noon

Red Mountain Pass Open
noon - 1 p.m.

Red Mountain Pass Closed
1-5 p.m.

  • Southbound traffic will be stopped just north of the Bear Creek Bridge (mile point 90), allowing access to the scenic overlook.
  • Northbound traffic will be stopped just north of Engineer Pass junction (MP 89), allowing access to the Engineer Pass road.
    • However, on Thursday northbound traffic will be stopped at Ironton (MP 87) to allow for helicopter operations.
  • From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, motorists may encounter periodic shorter closures of up to 20 minutes while crews work on the cliff walls. Watch for flaggers and be prepared for one-lane alternating traffic.
  • The road will return to regular two-way traffic every evening, until construction resumes the following morning.

Why This Work is Necessary

Crews are repairing the draped netting that hangs on the face of the cliff wall, which traps falling rocks. Additionally, new supplemental netting and fencing are being installed to increase the capacity for debris and prevents rocks from falling onto the highway.

Crews are targeting Nov. 1 for project completion, with a goal to finish the work before significant snowfall begins. As a result, inclement weather may impact the duration of the project.