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U.S. Highway 550 north of Durango closed Saturday for bike race

Colorado Department of Transportation offers alternative routes

U.S. Highway 550 will be closed north of Durango on Saturday, May 28, during the annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.

Drivers are urged to leave Durango early if traveling to Silverton or points beyond, because Highway 550 will be closed between Purgatory Resort and Ouray from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to accommodate cyclists.

Likewise, travelers heading south from Ouray, Ridgway or Montrose on Highway 550 should be aware the highway will be closed at Ouray Hot Springs.

Drivers will not be permitted to travel within the closure points after 8:30 a.m. The highway will reopen at 1:30 p.m.

Additional travel impacts in Durango

Also on Saturday from 7 to 9:30 a.m. drivers will experience traffic impacts to accommodate several biking race and tour start times, with cyclists set to depart from Main Avenue and 33rd Street.

Just north of Durango, southbound traffic will be diverted from Highway 550 onto County Road 203 at Hermosa Creek to Animas View Drive. Northbound traffic from Durango to Purgatory will proceed along Highway 550 following traffic control personnel, signage and cones set in place.

Plan ahead

Friends or family members who plan to pick up cyclists in Silverton are advised to allow ample time to get through the closure point locations in Ouray and at Purgatory before 8:30 a.m. Purgatory is 25 miles north of Durango and is about a 35- to 45-minute drive.

No work zones or construction projects are taking place between Durango and Silverton this year. For the past several weeks, Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews have been maintaining and sweeping the highway to clear the road of debris, such as gravel and rocks.

Drivers are reminded and urged to watch for cyclists and drive safely for this event and other special events that may be taking place over the busy holiday weekend.

Alternate route (see map)

Drivers who want to avoid the highway closure, may consider the alternate route via more westerly highways. This alternate route will add about one hour of additional driving time, taking about three hours. (The Highway 550 route from Durango to Ridgway typically takes two hours driving time.)

  • Colorado 62 Ridgway to Placerville.
  • Colorado 145 Placerville to Dolores.
  • Colorado 184 Dolores to Mancos.
  • U.S. 160 Mancos to Durango.