CDOT devoting all available resources to US 50 bridge

News Release

April 22, 2024 - Northwestern Colorado - Experts working on continued bridge inspection as first day of local travel alternatives works successfully
CDOT rope teams conduct daily safety briefings
CDOT rope teams conduct daily safety briefings before being hoisted over the side of the bridge to grind paint off the structure for a better look at weld joints and potential defects. Please note this meeting and these vehicles were not on the compromised portion of the bridge structure.
A snooper truck is used to help inspectors get a better look at the underside of the bridge structure.
A snooper truck is used to help inspectors get a better look at the underside of the bridge structure.

Montrose and Gunnison Counties — County Road 26 opened this morning to provide immediate relief for local commuters as Colorado Department of Transportation crews continue inspecting the bridge that crosses Blue Mesa Reservoir at Dillon Pinnacles and working with a team of experts on long-term repair solutions. Limited travel on the local access road went smoothly and will continue Tuesday.

A snooper truck, an underbridge inspection bucket truck, staged on top of the bridge that crosses is helping inspectors get a better look at the underside of the bridge while two CDOT rope teams hang from the side of the structure to grind away paint for a better look at weld joints and potential defects. Representatives from several engineering firms are evaluating inspection results for the bridge at Dillon Pinnacles to determine the best course of action for repairing the structure. This bridge was closed Thursday, April 18, in the interest of public safety, and there is no timeframe for when it might reopen. The bridge’s technical designation is K-07-B is also informally referred to as the “middle bridge” on the reservoir.

Along with these ongoing inspection efforts, CDOT is working directly with Gunnison, Hinsdale and Montrose counties to maintain local services as best as possible. This includes coordinating with local emergency service agencies, school districts, propane delivery companies and postal services.

Pilot car operations on the County Road 26 local access route will continue twice daily in each direction. Because CR 26 is a high-mountain, unpaved road that is not intended to accommodate the traffic volumes of US 50, travel times will be limited and commercial vehicles exceeding a 16,001 gross vehicle weight rating are prohibited. Trailers of any kind are also prohibited from using this route. The schedule for piloted travel is:

  • 6 to 6:30 a.m. and 6 to 6:30 p.m. for westbound travel
  • 7 to 7:30 a.m. and 7 to 7:30 p.m. for eastbound travel

County Road 26 will only be open for local, essential travel during these timeframes. The road will remain closed at all other times for the ongoing restoration work needed to ensure the road remains safe for travel.

A hotline and email continue to be in place to assist customers with questions about the closure. Anyone with questions can reach out via 970-648-4423 or [email protected]. Calls will be closely monitored and will receive a prompt reply. Information is also available on the website at Travelers should refer to or the smartphone COtrip Planner app to plan an alternate route.

There are two recommended detours for through travel via Interstate 70 to the north or US 160 to the south and these detours add six to eight hours of travel time.

Contact Information

For additional information about this project:

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:

Download the COtrip App!

The new free COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!