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Officials hope to open Red Mtn. Pass 24/7 by Sunday
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on February 06 2014, 12:50am by Mark Esper in Local News category
Work continues on a 24-foot-tall net to interecept rocks falling toward U.S. 550 in the Uncompahgre Canyon on Red Mountain Pass.
After a closure of nearly three weeks, Red Mountain Pass was opened for traffic twice a day on Friday, Jan. 31, and officials now say they may be able to open the highway 24 hours a day by Sunday.
Traffic was being escorted through from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Crews are installing a 360-foot-long, 24-foot-tall fence, closing the northbound lane of U.S. 550 in the rockfall area at Ruby Walls, two miles south of Ouray in the Uncompahgre Canyon.
That fence could be completed by Friday. A traffic signal will then be installed allowing traffic to alternate through the area 24 hours a day.
The highway was closed Sunday night, Jan. 12, when a huge slab of rock disintegrated and crashed onto the highway and into the canyon, leaving rock debris up to 8 feet deep on the road. 
The highway was cleared and reopened by Monday morning, Jan. 13, but by early that afternoon, it was closed again as rocks continued to rain down on motorists.
CDOT officials were unsure when they can fully reopen the highway.


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