Close this search box.
US 50 Blue Mesa Middle Bridge

CDOT Announces Partial Reopening of US 50 Blue Mesa Middle Bridge for July 4 Holiday

Montrose, Gunnison, and Hinsdale Counties — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has announced the partial reopening of the US 50 Blue Mesa Middle Bridge starting at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3. This reopening, timed ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, allows emergency vehicles and smaller passenger vehicles to cross the bridge, facilitating improved access and boosting local tourism.

“CDOT anticipates delivering on our goal of opening the Blue Mesa Middle Bridge to limited traffic ahead of July 4,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “We continue to work towards completing needed repairs ahead of winter. Over the holiday weekend, the bridge will be open for 12 hours a day, which we hope encourages tourism in this area as these communities are still very much open for business. Starting on July 8, we will settle into a twice-a-day opening schedule to allow crews to continue to work on repairs throughout the day.”

Holiday Weekend Schedule and Details

From July 3 to July 7, the bridge will be accessible for one lane of traffic from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, with pilot cars leading traffic at slow speeds in alternating directions. After the holiday weekend, beginning July 8, the bridge will open twice daily: from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Approved vehicles for crossing include:

  • Passenger vehicles
  • Pickup trucks
  • Vans
  • Motorcycles
  • Emergency vehicles

Vehicles required to use the County Road 26 detour include:

  • RVs/Campers
  • Motorhomes
  • Trucks pulling trailers
  • Semi-trucks
  • Buses

Upcoming Public Meeting and Community Engagement

To discuss the reopening schedule and ongoing repair work, CDOT will host a public meeting on Tuesday, July 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Gunnison County Courthouse. An online option will be available for virtual participation. Additionally, CDOT team members will provide refreshments to motorists at the closure points starting at 6:30 a.m. on July 3.

Progress on Repairs

CDOT crews have completed the first phase of critical repairs on the bottom flange of the bridge, addressing areas at imminent risk to structural integrity. They are now preparing the bridge deck for traffic on July 3 and planning further repairs on the top flange starting July 8, with comprehensive bottom flange repairs scheduled for August.

Lake Fork Bridge Lane Closures

Meanwhile, CDOT will implement lane closures on the Lake Fork Bridge from June 28 to July 1 for strain gauge sensor installation. This work is essential for monitoring the bridge’s structural response to traffic and construction activities.

Alternate Routes and Travel Advisories

County Road 26 remains open as a detour, along with Kebler Pass for the season. CDOT advises travelers to use alternative state highways, such as I-70 and US 160, to minimize congestion on local routes. For the latest travel information, motorists are encouraged to visit or use the COtrip Planner app.

For more details and updates on the US 50 Blue Mesa Middle Bridge project, visit CDOT’s project page or contact the hotline at 970-648-4423.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

Enjoy this Article? Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Join 4,000+ other subscribers and receive mountain news updates, route guides, gear reviews, and other articles in our twice-monthly email newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to The Next Summit!

My mission is to protect peaks and prevent rescues through public education, outreach, and policy advocacy using digital marketing strategies, tools, and tactics.

Click and learn more about our mission, approach and impact. Thanks again for visiting!

Download My Ultimate Dispersed Camping Guide!

Discover twelve of the best spots for dispersed campsites across Colorado, plus tips for a safe and successful adventure by subscribing to my newsletter.

14er Planner

Download my Colorado 14ers Planner for Your Next Summit!

Subscribe and get my free planner with all 58 peaks in the perfect climbing order.

14er Planner

Download my Colorado 14ers Planner for Your Next Summit!

Become a subscriber to download my free 14er planner. It lists all 58 peaks in the perfect climbing order. Get it now & start planning!