Little Blue Creek Canyon open for remainder of winter starting December 22

Plans to resume working in spring

By Katherine Nettles

US 50 along Little Blue Creek Canyon between Gunnison and Montrose will be open and construction-free through the holidays and beyond, beginning Friday, December 22 through early May. A full hiatus of all construction was initially expected sometime in January but project managers made the call on Wednesday morning, December 20 to stop work from the holidays onward.

There will be no nighttime full roadway closures for the remainder of 2023, according to the Federal Highway Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation, the entities managing the four-mile highway improvement project. 

According to Kathleen Wanatowicz, public information manager for the project, there was a chance to just push through and get the project finished rather than closing down for winter—depending on weather. But officials decided not to force things, and accept that winter weather would delay the work anyway.

“All of our major work on the project is complete,” says Wanatowicz. “Excavation is complete, rock work is complete, the retaining walls are all complete. So the majority of the scope of the project is complete. Right now we’re working on the smaller items such as paving and putting up guard rails. We are down to the last items in our construction schedule.” 

Those items will wait until May, when Wanatowicz says it might take another two to three months at minimum to finish up. 

“We expect to come back and do our finish work in early May,” she said.

More information and a project overview can be found at

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