Today the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration alerted state residents and visitors to a plethora of road construction projects that will begin early next week to improve the narrow lanes and sharp turns of U.S. 50 in Little Blue Creek Canyon between Sapinero and Cimarron.
The construction between mileposts 123 and 127, should be taken into account, including the notification regarding length and width restrictions for trucks and other large vehicles attempting to move through the construction zone.
U.S. 50 Little Blue Creek Canyon Roadway Impacts for the week of April 10 – April 16
Monday, April 10
8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. No loads greater than 10 ft. in width and no loads greater than 80 ft. in length. Open to one lane of traffic with two-way flagger operations throughout the day.
Motorists should plan for long delays of around 35 – 45 minutes. There will be no night time closures on Monday, April 10.
Tuesday, April 11
6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. No loads greater than 10 ft. in width and no loads greater than 80 ft. in length. The road will be open to one lane of traffic with two-way flagger operations throughout the day.
Plan for long delays around 30 – 45 minute delays. There will be a NEW ROAD CLOSURE to ALL traffic from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. due to rock blasting. Note this extended 2.5-hour closure and adjust routes accordingly. From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. there will be alternating traffic open to one lane of traffic.
Emergency vehicle access to Arrowhead is accessible via Montrose, but there will be no emergency vehicle access via Gunnison.
Nighttime Roadway Closures: April 11,12,13
For the nights of Tuesday, April 11, Wednesday, April 12, and Thursday, April 13, nighttime closures will be in place from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. for rock work.
Wednesday, April 12, Thursday, April 13, and Friday, April 14
Alternating daytime traffic: 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. No loads greater than 10 ft. in width and no loads greater than 80 ft in length. Open to one lane of traffic with two-way flagger operations throughout the day. Plan for long 35 to 45 minute delays.
Friday, April 14 – Monday, April 17
The roadway is open to two-way traffic with no delays beginning 7:30 p.m. Friday through 8:30 a.m. Monday with no width or length restrictions.
Note: Two remaining full daytime closures will be announced 48 hrs. in advance. These will include a single 2.5 hr. daytime full closure for the shot and slope evaluation/scaling during non-peak non-commuting hrs. (e.g., 8:30-11:00 or 13:30-16:00). These two dates have not been announced.
FHWA asks that motorists use caution when traveling through the project and practice patience. Estimated delay times during roadway opening windows are between 35 minutes to one hour. Plan your travel around the opening windows and be prepared to queue at designated areas.
These improvements are focused on safety on this important rural highway. They include realignment and widening of U.S. 50 to two 12-foot travel lanes with two four-foot wide paved shoulders. This work is considered essential to improve safety for motorists traveling through Little Blue Creek Canyon, which currently has narrow lanes and sharp turns.
Work crews must conduct rock blasting and removal, which translates to lengthy closures. ACC will continue 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 and CDOT. Funding for the $40 million project is provided by a $20 million grant from the Colorado Federal Lands Access Program (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, U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the National Park Service (NPS).
PROJECT & TRAVEL INFO
For additional information about this project, including assistance for agricultural producers and residents of the Arrowhead community, contact the project team.
Project hotline: 970-340-4333
Project email: us50LittleBlue@gmail.com
Project webpage: www.us50info.com
Project text updates: register for alerts by texting us50 to 21000; charges may apply.