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The original item was published from 5/28/2019 11:13:00 AM to 5/29/2019 1:27:29 PM.

News Flash

San Miguel County News

Posted on: May 25, 2019

[ARCHIVED] CO 145 North of Dolores Now Open to Single Lane Traffic

A large boulder that came down and destroyed the highway north of Dolores


CO145 between Cortez and Telluride is now open to one-lane alternating traffic.

Both northbound and southbound drivers will encounter portable stoplight signals controlling traffic flow at the rockslide site. For safety, there is no stopping or standing allowed at any time through the rock fall area. The traffic light signals are automatically timed, so it is imperative that all vehicles get across the temporary road before the light changes. The temporary road has been constructed of dirt so, travelers are advised to slow down and use extreme caution through the area.

May 25, 2019

2:15 PM


Geo-technical team assesses potential ridgeline danger

Highway closed to public travel from Dolores to Rico, except for local residents

SOUTHWEST COLORADO – A geo-technical crew is assessing the mountainside and ridgeline above CO Highway 145, where a rock slide occurred yesterday in southwest Colorado. The team is checking the stability of the rock ridge formation that peaks at about 1000 feet above the highway. A ground and aerial investigation of the steep terrain will determine if any rock fall mitigation or scaling will be needed. Scaling is the removal of unstable and loose rock to prevent unpredictable rock fall. It is not yet known when the survey of the ridge will be completed.  

Meanwhile, CDOT’s maintenance division is developing a plan to restore traffic flow. Once the safety of the highway work area can be cleared of any potential danger from above, crews will likely build a shoulder along the damaged highway to run a temporary single lane alternating traffic operation.

An aerial view of the CO 145 rockslide


The massive rock slide occurred late Friday afternoon (5/24). The slide is located approximately 12 miles north of Dolores, MP 22 and brought down dirt, rock and two huge boulders. The house–sized, enormous rocks destroyed the full width of the highway pavement, leaving a trench approximately eight feet deep across both lanes. One boulder sits just off the highway, while the second boulder remains embedded on the highway lane area. The huge rocks will need to be “boulder-busted” or blasted into smaller pieces in order to move it off the roadway.




With the indefinite closure of CO 145, motorists have two alternate routes to consider. 

Westerly route (an approximate 4-hour drive):

  • US 550 Montrose to Ridgway
  • CO 62 Ridgway to Placerville
  • CO 145 Placerville to Norwood/Naturita
  • CO 141 Naturita to Dove Creek
  • US 491 Dove Creek to Cortez
  • US 160 Cortez to Durango

Easterly route (an approximate 3.5-hour drive):

  • US 550 Montrose to Ridgway
  • US 550 Ridgway to Ouray/Silverton
  • US 550 Silverton to Durango 
  • US 160 Durango to Cortez

map of CO 145 alternate routes


Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

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