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US 550 Remains Closed, Netting Work To Continue Through Tuesday

Dan Bender/La Plata County Sheriff's Office

Update January 27: Technical climbing crews were on hand at the side of recent rockslides along Red Mountain Pass/US 550, installing wire cable netting to stabilize boulders that continue to plague the road below. 

The alternate route south toward Durango, Cortez and beyond is SH 62 to SH 145 through Telluride, and US 160.The Colorado Department of Transportation says that work will continue through at least Tuesday, and there's still no estimated time for when the road could re-open.

Original Post: 

CDOT says crews will continue working to stabilize boulders and the cliffside where a series of rockslides this month have closed US 550/Red Mountain Pass south of Ouray.

CDOT says the road will remain closed through this weekend (January 24-26), as crews work to drape 40,000 square feet of cable wire netting over the slide area. There's still no estimate for when the road could re-open.

Over the past couple of days, technical climbers have been scaling loose rock from the area and drilling anchors for the wire netting. The work has been complicated and dangerous at times - at one point this week new rockslides took out some of the anchors that had just been installed. 

Credit Dan Bender/La Plata County Sheriff's Office
Crews on the slope anchor the 12-foot by 72-foot netting panel on the rock debris.

Helicopters have been airlifting in safety supplies and the cable netting, as well as dropping 30-lb bombs to help stabilize some boulders.