Repair danger compounds U.S. 550 closure

SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL/Colorado Department of Transportation—A helicopter drops supplies to a crew installing safety netting above U.S. Highway 550 south of Ouray, which has been closed by a rockslide.

U.S. Highway 550 remains closed as state highway workers continue rockfall mitigation efforts.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said the installation of rockfall safety netting was expected to continue through today on the highway over Red Mountain Pass. This, as crews spent much of Friday and Saturday scaling a sloping field of loose rock to install rock bolts upon which to hang the netting, CDOT said.

Work that started Friday morning was suspended in the afternoon because of falling rocks, but resumed Saturday.

“The objective hazards of the work are omnipresent; however they increase during the morning thaw when the sun swings around and heats up the face,” Mike Gibbs, project safety officer with Rigging for Rescue, was quoted in a CDOT news release.

Travelers are being advised to consider alternative routes such as Colorado highways 62 or 145, or U.S. Highway 160.

Updates on the work are being posted at, while motorists can also sign up to receive updates via email or text messages at visiting


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