U.S. 50 is closed in both directions until about 6 tonight for the Little Blue Creek Canyon project between Montrose and Gunnison.
The closure is necessary for the safe removal of a large, loose section of rock that is in danger of crashing onto the roadway.
No passenger or commercial vehicles will be permitted to travel through the area; only emergency vehicles will be allowed. Use Colorado 92, via Delta, as a detour to get to Gunnison and allow for extra time. (Trucks and RVs longer than 70 feet must detour to I-70, as must vehicles carrying hazardous materials.)
Rock blasting is necessary to complete the safety-critical US 50 Little Blue Creek Canyon project, which began in April. Regular, lengthy closures on the highway are in place during weekdays, to allow for rock blasting activities.
“On the afternoon of Monday, May 24, during regularly scheduled activities associated with rockwork, crews discovered a large rock formation to be compromised. The rock formation sits approximately 100 feet above the highway and is likely 1,000 tons. Due to the safety of motorists, the full roadway closure is necessary,” said Kathleen Wanatowicz, public information manager for the Little Blue Creek Canyon Project.
”We thank everyone for their patience as we work to safely remove the rock formation and create a clear roadway.”
The project location is between Montrose and Gunnison (Mile Points 123 -127), and is approximately 30 miles from each community. The project, a priority for improving safety along the US 50 corridor, is estimated to be complete by Nov. 4, 2022. The most impactful construction, roadway and traffic operations are anticipated to take place during the first year.
Improvements will focus on safety along US 50 in the project area, including realignment and widening US 50 to two 12-foot travel lanes with two 4-foot-wide paved shoulders. This work is essential to improve safety for motorists traveling through Little Blue Creek Canyon, which currently has narrow lanes and sharp turns.
How to Receive More Updates
For updates about the closure and additional project information, contact the project team.
• Project hotline: 970-340-4333
• Project email: us50LittleBlue@gmail.com
• Project webpage: www.us50info.com
• Project text updates: Text us50 to 21000
A text message notifications system is available for this project. Register for alerts by texting us50 to 21000; charges may apply.
Usual Traffic & Recreation Impacts
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 first year of the project. 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.
US 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 usually take place 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.