DURANGO TRAFFIC UPDATE: U.S. 160/550 high bridge project in South Durango reconfigured to left (single) lane traffic in each direction Drivers urged to continue the “zipper merge”

November 25, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado


SOUTHWEST COLORADO — There’s been a traffic switch at the high bridge at U.S. Highway 160 on the southside of Durango.  This afternoon (Monday, November 25) southbound traffic was reconfigured to single lane traffic in the right lane. Northbound traffic can expect this same reconfiguration starting as weather permits, which could be as early as tomorrow Tuesday, November 26. The lanes will be widened to 12’ with a 4’ shoulder. Wide loads will still not be allowed through the project limits. Single lane traffic restrictions at the bridge are helping with construction efforts and will maintain safety for crews and motorists.

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Last week crews completed the asphalt mat on the new approach slab and reconstructed deck of the bridge, approximately 50 feet long and 3 inches thick. This new section connects the new expansion device to the new concrete pavement. The new approach will also provide a smoother surface at the bridge transition from the bridge to the road.


As traffic narrows to one lane at the bridge work zone, CDOT instructs drivers to use both lanes all the way to the merge point. This traffic pattern, also known as a “zipper or late merge,” allows for smoother more efficient merging and less stop-and-go traffic. (YouTube video: How to merge in a work zone)

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Work will continue to take place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Although work will take place only during the daytime, the following traffic configuration will be in place day and night (24/7). The project and traffic impacts can be expected through the end of December 2019.

US 160/550 Bridge (also known as the “high bridge” over the Animas River)

  • Single lanes in each direction will be maintained on the bridge structure. 

  • A “zipper/late merge” configuration will be in place. Use both lanes to the merge point. 

  • Lanes will be narrowed to a 12 feet width restriction. 

  • Motorists are required to reduce their speed to 40 mph. 

  • Travelers should follow all traffic restrictions, signage and flagging personnel through the work zone.

Highway 3 

  • There will be no acceleration lane access for vehicles turning right off Highway 3 onto U.S. 160/550, north-/westbound.

  • Vehicles turning right MUST use the traffic light signal at U.S. 160/550, north-/westbound. 

  • To avoid the bridge work zone, travelers may consider using Highway 3 as an alternate route.

Turner Drive in Bodo Park 

  • Right turns off Turner Drive must STOP and yield for east-/southbound access onto US 160/550. No merging is allowed onto the highway. 

  • Alternate access to U.S. 160/550 can use the Frontage Road and intersection/traffic light signal at Sawyer Drive.

  • Right turns off US 160/550 are allowed onto Turner Drive. 

  • Right turns off Turner Drive are allowed onto CR 213/La Posta Road.  


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For additional information about this project, call the project information line at 970-840-8517, email the team at [email protected], or visit the project website at www.codot.gov/projects/southwestern-colorado-bridge-maintenance.