Hwy 50 Bridge Closure

US 50 bridge west of Gunnison is CLOSED

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 A safety closure is in place for a bridge on US Highway 50 located west of Gunnison.

Beginning Monday, April 22, the County Road 26 bypass will open as a detour route 2 times per day in each direction for critical local public travel. To open this as a viable detour, traffic will need to be managed through the use of pilot vehicles. CR 26 (also known as Lake City Cutoff) is a high mountain native surface road that is not built to maintain existing US 50 traffic levels.  The County and state are working to improve the road in case of a prolonged bridge closure. 

Starting the morning of 4/24/2024, the NEW traffic release times are:

  • 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. for westbound travel beginning at CO 149 and CR 26.
  • 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. for eastbound travel beginning at US 50 and CR 26.
  • 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. for westbound travel beginning at CO 149 and CR 26.
  • 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. for eastbound travel beginning at US 50 and CR 26.

 In order to maintain this route, crews will perform repairs to CR 26 and improve the road, so no other public travel will be allowed outside of these times. 

  • No trailers of any type will be allowed. 
  • The detour will not be open to commercial vehicles more than 16,000 GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
  • Prohibited vehicles will need to use detours on Interstate 70 or Colorado Highway 160 to travel between Gunnison and Montrose. 

CDOT closed the bridge at the urging of the Federal Highway Administration and state bridge engineering experts due to the findings of an ongoing safety inspection, which identified anomalies in the bridge on Thursday, April 18. The closure is in place at US 50 Mile Point 131 (intersection with Colorado Highway 92) to MP 138. Local traffic on the west side of the closure will be allowed through the closure point to reach residences.

Motorists should use COtrip to plan an alternate route. This closure will create a significant detour for commuters between Montrose and Gunnison. The recommended detour route for through traffic is via Interstate 70 to the north or US 160 to the south. CDOT understands the inconvenience that this creates and is rapidly evaluating options to improve options for residents, businesses, and travelers on the western slope. The northern route is 354 miles and requires approximately 6 hours of travel time. The southern route is 331 miles and requires nearly 7 hours of travel time.

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