U.S. 50 Little Blue Creek open both directions through August

U.S. 50 through Little Blue Creek Canyon will be open both directions through Aug. 31. (Montrose Daily Press/file photo)

Road closures associated with construction on the U.S. 50 Little Blue Creek Canyon 4-mile safety improvement project located between Montrose and Gunnison (mile points 123 -127) will remain open to two-way traffic through Tuesday, Aug. 31. Regularly scheduled road closures will begin on Sept. 1.

“This decision was made due to the ongoing coordination with the Colorado Department of Transportation and the most recent closures in the Glenwood Canyon,” said Kathleen Wanatowicz, public information manager for the Little Blue Creek Canyon project.

“At this time, the project tea.m. is working with the Department of Transportation and CDOT to determine how the delay in the closures will affect the construction schedule in the future.”

Labor Day weekend

U.S. 50 will be open to two-way traffic beginning Friday, Sept. 3 at noon through the Labor Day weekend. Regularly scheduled roadway impacts begin Sept. 7 at 8:30 a.m.

Travel and rec impacts after Labor Day weekend

Motorists should prepare for long delays during the opening roadway windows and plan to take detour routes. Estimated delay times during roadway opening windows are between 30 minutes to one hour.

Travel impacts for motorists illustrated in the table below will be consistent throughout the project’s first year. Motorists should plan for single lane closures, full roadway closures, reduced speed limits, and narrow roads. Significant delays are anticipated. If there is an emergency closure of Interstate 70, full closures on this project will be reduced.

U.S. 50 will be open to two-way traffic with no delays from Friday at 5:30 p.m. – Monday at 8:30 a.m.

Full roadway closures will be Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.. Full roadway closures will occur through the night Monday – Thursday 7:30 p.m. – 6:30 a.m.. Plan your travel around the opening windows and be prepared to queue at designated areas.

Detour options during nighttime closures:

When U.S. 50 is closed, local passenger vehicles and small trucks can use Colorado Highway 92 as a local alternate route. All other trucks and recreation vehicles over 70 feet in length will need to use I-70 to the north, U.S. 160 to the south, or wait for one of the planned openings. Please allow additional time due to the restricted open times and single-lane operations.

Vehicles carrying hazardous materials will need to use I-70 to the north, U.S. 160 to the south, or wait for a planned opening. Please allow additional time due to the restricted open times and single-lane operations.

Local detour:

The CO-92 detour is for local traffic only and trucks less than 70 feet in length. No hazardous materials will be permitted on the detour.

American Civil Constructors West Coast (ACC) continues to work in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-CFLHD), and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to minimize impacts on local communities as much as possible.

The U.S. 50 Little Blue Creek Canyon improvement project is the result of a partnership with the FHWA-CFLHD and CDOT. Funding for the $40 million project is provided by a $20 million grant from the Colorado Federal Lands Access Progra.m. (FLAP), with CDOT providing the matching $20 million. The project is also in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the National Park Service (NPS). Work also includes guardrail replacement, additional rockfall catchment area, new signage, and striping.

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts, and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

• Road conditions and travel information: www.COtrip.org

• Sign up for project or travel alerts: bit.ly/COalerts

• See scheduled lane closures: codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html

• Connect with us on social media: Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook facebook.com/coloradodot

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