OURAY COUNTY: Both lanes to open at Red Mountain Pass this weekend

By Sheridan Block

After nearly a month-long series of road closures due to rockfall mitigation work, Red Mountain Pass is expected to be completely opened by Thursday evening, June 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Since the damaging rock fall incidents in late January, Red Mountain Pass has been open to one-lane traffic flows controlled by a traffic signal. For the last few weeks, it has been open only one hour during the day and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Both north and southbound lanes are scheduled to open.
According to Colorado Department of Transportation Region 5 Communications Manager Nancy Shanks, CDOT crews and contracts will be paving the highway on Thursday and striping may occur either Thursday or Friday before re-opening the road. If striping is cleared for application on Thursday afternoon, the road could be opened for good as early as Thursday evening, she said.
CDOT crews have spent the last four weeks clearing rock debris from the roadside and removing the center lane fencing barrier. Fencing was built midway on the slope and more mesh was secured to catch any loose rocks.
In regard to long term mitigation, CDOT will monitor the success of this project to determine whether or not a "Phase 3" is needed, said Shanks.
"If we do look at a third phase of work out there, it's possible that could happen sometime in September, but we'll have to keep folks posted over the upcoming months," she said.
Following the summer months, CDOT is expected to return to make repairs to the retaining walls below the highway area.
For more information and updates on the opening of Red Mountain Pass, visit www.cotrip.org.