U.S. 50 detour has been updated

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GUNNISON, Colo. – For folks traveling to Gunnison from the west for Cattlemen’s Days, the Colorado Department of Transportation has released an update regarding the U.S. Highway 50 bridge repairs over Blue Mesa Reservoir.

The bridge will be open for 12 hours per day to one-lane traffic – led by a pilot car – from July 4-7. Starting Monday, July 8, it will return to being open just twice a day: 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. In addition, no large vehicles will be allowed to cross the bridge and must follow the County Road 26 detour.

That will lead to a little traffic snarl for the Cattlemen’s Days Rodeo, set for Thursday, July 11-Saturday, July 13, at Fred Field Western Center in Gunnison.

“We realize that this is a little bit of a snag in the plans of the contestants coming to Gunnison from the west,” said Brad Tutor, president of the Cattlemen’s Days committee. “It’s going to be an issue for cowboys and cowgirls hauling horses, and it’s also going to cause problems for people who are bringing their campers or RVs to town, but we are very pleased with the way the Lake City Cutoff (County Road 26) has been maintained and used.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a delay, but it’s very manageable.”

Westbound U.S. Highway 50 is the primary artery for folks traveling toward Montrose and beyond, but it’s not the only route. Because of the mountain paths, all motorists will need to allow for extra time while trying to make their way around the construction, which has been ongoing since April.

“While we appreciate the Lake City Cutoff, we also realize there are some contestants who would not be as comfortable with making the trip across it,” Tutor said. “The alternatives coming from the west would be to either remain on Interstate 70 at Grand Junction to (U.S.) Highway 24 and come south there and back around to Gunnison.

“Or you could go south at Montrose on (U.S. Highway) 550 to Durango and back around to Salida, then come back west. It’s going to come down to what contestants are most comfortable with.”

For more information about the various routes, just click on the link: https://maps.cotrip.org/event/CDOT-16694727080BOTH/@-108.77246,38.99316,7?show=roadWork,expressLanes,roadReports,weatherWarnings.


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