Molas Pass road work on track for October completion

CDOT urges safety through construction zone this weekend

A road improvement project on U.S. Highway 550 just south of Silverton is on track for its October completion, CDOT said Tuesday. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of the Colorado Department of Transportation

A road improvement project on U.S. Highway 550 just south of Silverton is on track for its October completion, CDOT said Tuesday.

A road improvement project on U.S. Highway 550 just south of Silverton is on schedule for completion in mid-October, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

The project was started in May to improve the safety of the high-country roadway near Molas Pass. Traffic has been restricted to a single-lane, alternating traffic zone, with delays up to 20 minutes during work hours.

According to a news release, crews recently completed excavation and are now re-building the “under-highway downhill retaining walls,” otherwise known as crib walls.

Crib walls are retaining structures built below the highway for stabilization and reinforcement. They are built by placing layers of reinforced wire mesh, geotextile fabric and special backfill materials, CDOT said.

Two separate crib walls will be built at mileposts 68.6 and 68.8. Then, the road will be paved and a new guardrail will be installed.

This weekend, Silverton hosts the Annual Hardrockers Holidays and the Annual Great Western Rocky Mountain Brass Band Festival.

CDOT said flagging crews are “prepared to manage surge traffic.” On Friday and Saturday, flagging crews will manage traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Sunday and during after-hours, a portable traffic light will be in place that will alternate traffic at 7 minute intervals, CDOT said.

“Motorists are urged to drive safely on this very busy weekend,” the department said in the release.

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