US 550 north of Durango closed on May 27 of Memorial Day weekend

Travel Advisory

May 15, 2023 - Southwestern Colorado - Drivers may consider alternate route via Telluride

Southwest Colorado — US Highway 550 will be closed north of Durango on Saturday, May 27, during the annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. Motorists are urged to leave Durango early if traveling to Silverton or points beyond, since US 550 will be closed between Purgatory Ski Resort and Silverton from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. to accommodate cyclists.

Likewise, travelers heading south from Silverton, Ridgway or Montrose on US 550 should be aware the highway will be closed just south of Silverton.

Motorists will not be permitted to travel within the closure points after 8:30 a.m. The highway will reopen at 1:30 p.m.

Additional Traffic Impacts in Durango

  • Also on Saturday from 7 to 9:30 a.m. motorists will experience traffic impacts to accommodate several biking race and tour start times, with cyclists set to depart from Main Avenue and 33rd Street.
  • Just north of Durango, southbound traffic will be diverted from US 550 onto CR 203 at Hermosa Creek to Animas View Drive. Northbound traffic from Durango to Purgatory will proceed along US 550 following traffic control personnel, signage, and cones set in place. Motorists must obey all traffic control signage and personnel.

Plan Ahead

Friends or family members who plan to pick up cyclists in Silverton are advised to allow ample time to get through the closure point locations in Silverton and at Purgatory before 8:30 a.m. Purgatory is located 25 miles north of Durango and is an approximate 35 to 45 minute drive from Durango.

No work zones or construction projects are taking place between Durango and Silverton this year. For the past several weeks, CDOT maintenance crews have been maintaining and sweeping the highway to clear the road of debris, such as gravel and rocks.

Drivers are reminded and urged to watch for cyclists and drive safely for this event and other special events which may be taking place over the busy holiday weekend.

US 550 Special Event Closure Map from Purgatory to Silverton on Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Consider the alternate route of CO 145 through Telluride.
US 550 Special Event Closure Map from Purgatory to Silverton on Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Consider the alternate route of CO 145 through Telluride.

The trip from Durango to Ridgway, via US 550 through Ouray and Silverton, typically takes two hours. Motorists who wish to avoid the highway closure, may consider the alternate route via more westerly highways. This alternate route through CO 145 will add approximately one hour of additional driving time, taking approximately three hours from Durango to Telluride and ending in Ridgway (150 highway miles).

  • CO 62 Ridgway to Placerville
  • CO 145 Placerville to Dolores
  • CO 184 Dolores to Mancos
  • US 160 Mancos to Durango

Know Before You Go

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:

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

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!

Download the COtrip App!

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