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The original item was published from 3/5/2019 3:38:35 PM to 3/7/2019 3:21:45 PM.

News Flash

San Miguel County News

Posted on: March 5, 2019

[ARCHIVED] US 500 Red Mountain Pass to Remain Closed

CDOT machinery works to remove snow from US 550 (JPEG)

SOUTHWEST COLORADO ― US Highway 550 Red Mountain Pass will remain closed until further notice. The pass will stay closed overnight and it is not known yet when the pass will open. 

Avalanche mitigation teams and maintenance crews have triggered and continue to trigger an unprecedented amount of snow from several avalanche paths that are now covering the roadway. The triggered snow slides, 10 to 30 ft. deep in some areas, include an extensive amount of debris including limbs and trees. Extra equipment is needed and has been called in from other areas to assist with clearing the highway.

Additional mitigation is planned for Red Mountain Pass tomorrow, Wednesday, March 6. 

Regional Transportation Director Mike McVaugh stated, “This extended closure has been implemented to ensure the safety of the traveling public. It’s our desire to get all paths mitigated and safe prior to the next round of winter weather that begins as early as tonight.”  

McVaugh added, “We have had several incidents of natural slides across the state, along the I-70 mountain corridor and here in southwest Colorado.  We take proactive measures to close the passes in order to trigger avalanche paths in a safe controlled environment with no vehicles on the highway.”  


Northbound travelers from Durango can reach Silverton. Southbound travelers from Ridgway can reach Ouray. However, through traffic or motorists traveling from Durango to Ouray (or Ouray to Durango) may consider the alternate, more westerly route via CO Highway 145 through Telluride. See attached map below.  


US 500 Alternate Route map (JPEG)

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