The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has scheduled critical winter maintenance operations on U.S. 160 Wolf Creek Pass for tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m., (Friday, Feb. 9).
Travelers are urged to plan ahead, allow for extra travel time or arrive and drive through the gates before the designated closure time.
Both eastbound and westbound motorists will encounter full stops and one extended delay of up to two hours. Motorists are urged to allow for extra travel time or seek alternate routes.
West closure point: Treasure Falls (mile point 157), 13 miles east of Pagosa Springs.
East closure point: Wolf Creek Ski Area (mile point 167), 19 miles west of South Fork.
CDOT prioritizes U.S. 160 Wolf Creek Pass as a critical route connecting rural communities and freight across southwest Colorado. Public safety is at the forefront when determining highway closures. CDOT maintenance supervisors work closely with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, National Weather Service forecasters and Colorado State Patrol to determine if avalanche mitigation is needed and if the route is safe for motorists to travel.
The length of closures for planned winter maintenance operations depends upon snow accumulations and the severity of the avalanche danger. Control missions may be performed quickly with short road closures, or the missions may require more lengthy closures lasting several hours. More frequently, closures occur between Treasure Falls and the pass summit, because most missions take place on the west side of the Wolf Creek where the steep geological features contribute to the high potential of natural slides coming down onto the highway.
Motorists are urged to check highway impacts on COtrip.org as a new storm system is forecasted to move into the southwest corner of the state tonight.
Southwest mountain pass snowfall accumulation totals expected through Saturday, Feb 10:
U.S. 550 Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain Passes: 8-9 inches
U.S. 160 Wolf Creek Pass: 18 inches
U.S. 160 La Veta Pass: 7 inches
U.S. 50 Monarch Pass: 7 inches
Colo. 145 Lizard Head Pass: 8 inches
Colo. 17 Cumbres and La Manga passes: 13 inches