US 550 South of Silverton Open, Red Mountain Pass to Remain Closed Overnight


CDOT works closely with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to determine when avalanche control operations are required to keep mountain passes safe for the traveling public. This avalanche path, known as “Mother Cline,” on the north side of Red Mountain Pass summit, brought down snow four feet deep and 600 feet wide.

SOUTHWEST COLORADO ― The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has opened US Highway 550 south of Silverton. Avalanche mitigation crews worked for much of the day to trigger snow slide paths that were a threat of collapsing on the highway. Mitigation on this southern stretch of the highway was successful, creating safer travel conditions for motorists traveling between Silverton and Durango.

US 550 Red Mountain Pass will remain closed until further notice. Crews attempted to mitigate slide paths along this northern stretch of the mountain corridor, but could not complete the work safely due to adverse weather conditions.

“We had zero visibility at times today,” said Vance Kelso, CDOT Area Maintenance Supervisor. “Snow was falling fast and winds were blowing fiercely. We were forced to call off our avalanche control operations for the safety of the crew. We will try again first thing tomorrow.”

While Red Mountain Pass remains closed, avalanche control work will be attempted first thing tomorrow morning, Saturday, January 19.  

The entire mountain corridor, including three mountain passes between Purgatory and Ouray, was closed early this morning at approximately 5:30 a.m.