After being closed nearly three weeks because of avalanche danger, U.S. Highway 550 on Red Mountain Pass opened Friday morning.
Lisa Schwantes, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said the route between Silverton and Ouray was cleared after avalanches buried the road in up to 60 feet of snow.
Red Mountain Pass closed March 3. Earlier this week, CDOT said it could take another two weeks to get the pass opened. But Schwantes said crews worked 24/7 to open it sooner.
“They just hammered it out,” she said.
Schwantes said CDOT even had to clear two avalanche slides triggered Friday morning.
Chain laws are in effect for all vehicles traveling the pass. Schwantes said the top of the pass is icy and snowpacked, and lower elevations are wet and slushy.