OURAY COUNTY – Today, as temperatures began to climb to a high of 56 degrees on the pass, more rocks cascaded down onto US 550 near MM 90, the largest (4 feet by 2 feet), putting a 6-inch hole in the highway surface.
San Miguel Power was able to successfully (and safely) remove the downed power lines and pole today. Rockfall crews with Yenter Companies plan to mobilize tomorrow and further details of their progress will be sent then.
US 550 over Red Mountain Pass will remain closed at least through the weekend, due to continuous rockfall and the risk of more at MM 90, two miles south of Ouray. The actual closure points are now now at MM 92 just south of Ouray and at MM 87 at Ironton Park (about 17 miles north of Silverton). There is currently no estimate for a reopening of the pass beyond this weekend, though more will be known by Friday as mitigation work gets underway. Motorists are urged to stay updated by going to www.cotrip.org or signing up for road condition messaging through CDOT’s web site (see below).
ALTERNATE ROUTE: The alternate routes are the following: From Ouray to Durango (a distance of 70 miles using US 550) motorists will instead use SH 62 from Ridgway over Dallas Divide, SH 145 over Lizard Head Pass, then US 160, for a trip of 168 miles (a 98-mile detour). The average daily traffic count on Red Mountain Pass is 2,200.
For information on other CDOT projects, the public may call 511 or log onto CDOT’s traveler information web site at www.cotrip.org. Better yet, sign up to receive email and/or text messages by going to CDOT’s web site at www.coloradodot.info and choosing the green phone icon in the upper right corner.