Crews continue to clear Red Mountain Pass debris

OURAY — Crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation are getting closer to reopening U.S. Highway 550 over Red Mountain Pass.

Workers installed nine rock fall nets on the debris field on Monday and expect to install seven more on Tuesday.

Officials say a giant slab of rocks about the size of a football field came loose and crumbled into smaller pieces, punching a hole in the highway on Jan. 12.

The closure has severed the only direct route from Ouray (yoo-RAY’) to Silverton, normally a 70-mile drive over Red Mountain Pass. A detour over Dallas Divide and Lizard Head Pass adds nearly 100 miles to the trip.

Transportation officials say an average of 2,200 vehicles a day use the highway.



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