Crews to clear mounting debris from bridges on US 550  south of Montrose

July 1, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado

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CDOT PHOTO: Trees and limbs create an unwanted dam at this US 550 bridge on Cow Creek. 

SOUTHWEST COLORADO — Heavy runoff has caused higher than normal debris to collect under bridges across the region. Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 2, the Colorado Department of Transportation will be performing bridge maintenance on US Highway 550 south of Montrose, near the Ridgway Reservoir. Maintenance crews have identified mounting debris under two bridge structures which cross the Uncompahgre River and Cow Creek. 

Crews will use heavy equipment to remove the debris, consisting mostly of tree and limbs, which can compromise the integrity of bridge structures. The build-up of debris causes unwanted damming, places unnecessary pressure on the piers and bridge structures, and the diversion of water to areas it should not flow.   

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CDOT PHOTO: CDOT maintenance crews will clear debris which has collected at this US 550 bridge on the Uncompahgre River. 

Maintenance crews will also be filling pot holes and patching any damaged road surface within the three-mile work zone, from mile points 111 to 114.  


Travelers will encounter delays on Tuesday, July 2, from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm. Drivers will be stopped and guided through a one-lane alternating traffic configuration at work zones. Traffic stops should be brief, 5 to 10 minutes.


The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.

  • Be patient!


Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:


To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.