Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions

The bridge will be repaired in two phases. The goal is to finish phase 1 in early July, which will allow reopening of one lane across the bridge for limited travel by lighter vehicles. Phase 2 work will focus on making permanent repairs to allow full traffic back onto the bridge. The completion of this work, and the reopening of the full bridge, is expected in fall 2024.

Local public travel refers to travel related to medical visits, commuting for work, visiting the area, and surrounding communities, and for residents who live on either side of the road closure.
County Road 26 is open to trucks, trailers, recreation vehicles and heavier vehicles up to 85,000 pounds that fall within the state’s legal load definitionGunnison CR 26 will now allow overweight and over-width traffic. These loads, in excess of 85,000 pounds and/or over 8 1⁄2 feet in width and/or 14 1⁄2 feet in height and/or truck tractor semitrailer combinations that exceed 70 feet, require special permitting on both state and County roads. Please visit the Local Access Information page for additional details. 
Gunnison County is currently working through these various community needs. People with post office boxes can travel to the post office during the regular open hours for County Road 26. The Postmasters have been notified and they don’t anticipate any disruptions to mail delivery. If anyone does experience a problem with mail service, Senator Hickenlooper’s office is helping and people can visit www.hickenlooper.senate.gov/help-with-federal-agencies-form/. Propane is available on both sides of the closure so that shouldn’t be an issue. For trash collected on the east side of the closure for transport to Grand Junction, please contact the County to use the Gunnison landfill. For all other questions, like whether or not trash haulers can access residences on County Roads 25 and 26, please reach out to the project email at [email protected].
Kebler Pass, also known as Gunnison County Road 12, will open for the season at 4 p.m. Friday, May 31. Standard vehicle restrictions apply which include no vehicles over 30,000 pounds and no vehicles longer than 50 feet.
HazMat drivers should check with CDOT’s freight office when choosing between the recommended alternate routes (I-70 and US 160). The freight office can be reached at 303-757-9539 or [email protected]. More information is posted to freight.colorado.gov. HazMat vehicles will not be allowed on any local alternate routes available now or in the coming weeks.
Currently, there are no restrictions against boaters driving under the bridge, but please refrain from stopping right under the bridge where inspectors are working above. This could pose a safety risk should a piece of equipment fall from the bridge. CDOT’s concern is vehicles driving on the bridge. The bridge is structurally sound as it stands and does not impact boaters.
The closure point on the Gunnison side has been moved further west to provide access to places like the Bay of Chickens and Elk Creek Marina. Likewise for people on the Montrose side of the reservoir they will be able to access the Lake Fork Marina and recreation areas on that end. When you approach flaggers at the closure point, just let them know that is where you are going and they will let you through. To get to the east side of recreation areas from Montrose and west side recreation areas from Gunnison, people will need to take the County Road 26 cut-through during the set hours of pilot car operations.
Given the declaration of a state emergency, we have activated the state’s recovery task force to coordinate the capacity of various state agencies to address the economic impacts for agriculture, tourism and other impacted economies in the county. The effort will begin with an assessment of the economy by working in collaboration with the impacted jurisdictions and then work with state agencies to find opportunities. Legislation that may be applicable and appropriate to these circumstances was passed two years ago. We will work with the appropriate parties for solutions.
CDOT continues to inspect the bridge to find any further cracks or anomalies. More have been found since the original closure on April 18. CDOT is also working with a team of engineers and contractor Kiewit Infrastructure Co., to identify repair options so bridge repairs can begin as quickly and safely as possible. Now that improvements have been made to County Road 26 (Lake City Cutoff) and the roadway is open to heavier vehicles, CDOT, Gunnison County and Kiewit are monitoring the conditions so spot repairs can be made when needed. The team is also evaluating the potential of using County Road 25 as a detour route. 
There is one other bridge in the state that uses the same steel and construction, just a few miles west on US 50. CDOT is continuing to inspect both bridges, and the results of those inspections will determine next steps.
We strongly recommend that cyclists avoid traveling on County Road 26 because they would need to complete the nearly 16-mile route in 30 minutes to clear the road before the next timed entry of vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. As an alternative, people cycling between Gunnison and Montrose should use Gunnison County Road 12 (otherwise known as Kebler Pass). The pass is hard-packed dirt and gravel and is about 127 miles from one city to the other (about 60 miles further than taking US 50). Check with local bike shops for information about other places to ride and upcoming events and races.
Repair work is being done to County Road 25 (also known as Blue Mesa Road) just in case it needs to be used as an alternate route. Currently there are no plans to open it to traffic beyond the residents who live on County Road 25. The hard closure is still in place at Mile Marker 9 so no through traffic is allowed on this road. All through traffic must use County Road 26 at the appointed pilot car times.
It is strongly advised to stay inside or directly next to your vehicle when waiting in queue lines for pilot releases. While people, children, and pets may need to get out of the vehicle for various reasons, this poses a safety concern when working vehicles and emergency vehicles need to share the road as well as when the alternating release of vehicles drive by. To keep everyone’s trip across County Road 26 safe, minimize impacts to all travelers and workers, and to avoid delaying the timing of the releases, all are asked to stay inside or right next to your vehicle.