Frequently Asked Questions

The intended connection of US 550 to US 160 is part of long-range planning for enhanced mobility for the entire Southwest Colorado region.
"The need for this project is based on the projected increased travel demands on highway capacity and efficiency, and the existing substandard design that contributes to accidents associated with roadway deficiencies."

—From both the Record of Decision and Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement for the U.S. Department of Transportation
The connection is a key component for future growth providing mobility, safety, economic vitality and connectivity for the entire Four Corners area and all communities within this region which are currently seeing significant amounts of growth.
The planned project south of Durango will provide several benefits to the traveling public, once completed.

The connection will allow abandonment of the current Farmington Hill route and realign US 550 along a ridge directly into the existing US 160 Grandview Interchange. The realignment will improve mobility by providing a safer and more efficient connection of US 550 and 160.

The connection will improve mobility by providing a more efficient connection of US 550 to US 160 at the existing Grandview Interchange, providing access to the area's regional hospital; the police substation; the Grandview and Three Springs residential developments; and the City of Durango business development. The project improvements will reduce travel times, improve access and greatly enhance safety.

US 550 and US 160 have been identified as critical corridors for local commerce. The two highway corridors are busy truck routes, which provide significant freight mobility for oil and gas, agriculture, and other industries. The project enhancements will ensure safe and reliable transport of critical goods and services to and from New Mexico, and the Four Corners region.

The project will provide connectivity to a new urban core, including the regional hospital; police department; retail and business district; and residential neighborhoods.

The connection project is expected to be a multi-season construction project taking place over a two-year period. Please see the Design-Build Process.

Construction phasing will be determined and announced by the design build contractor selected to construct the project. The proposed construction timeline and schedule information will be made public once a contractor is chosen.

The design-build process allows CDOT to establish a project scope, goals and design criteria, and select a team base for "best value." This often enables CDOT the flexibility to maximize the scope of work and stretch limited project funding.

The project budget is estimated at just under $100 million.

The connection project has garnered tremendous support from local and federal entities. Through several partnerships, the project is being paid for with money from the federal government, the Colorado Department of Transportation, La Plata County, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Southern Ute Tribe Growth Fund and the City of Durango.