SOUTH-CENTRAL COLORADO — Commercial truckers are urged to use extreme caution on U.S. Highway 50 Monarch Pass as the only existing eastbound truck ramp will be closed September through late October.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is performing critical repairs beginning Sept. 12 on the emergency truck ramp located at mile point 204, 4 miles east of the pass summit. (Monarch Pass is located on US 50 between Sargents and Poncha Springs, approximately 47 miles east of Gunnison.)
The runaway truck ramp will not be operable during the entire construction phase.
Colorado State Patrol will conduct more frequent patrols on Monarch Pass throughout the construction period.
Additionally, CSP’s Motor Carrier Safety Section will oversee intermittent brake inspections and safety checks of commercial motor vehicles near the summit (just east of MP 199) to warn truck drivers of the ramp closure.
The first safety checks are set to begin after the Labor Day weekend on Sept. 6.
According to a news release, the safety checks “will help ensure big rigs have functioning brakes, inform truck drivers of the locations of tight turns on the pass,and educate them about the importance of downshifting and maintaining a low speed.”
“This particular runaway truck ramp has been utilized approximately two-to-three times per year over the past five years,” Julie Constan, Region 5 Transportation director, said. “So, it is imperative to not only focus on a permanent repair but also educate semi-truck drivers that it will not be operable and precautionary safety measures should be taken.”
Earlier this summer, maintenance crews performed a temporary repair of the truck ramp after a sinkhole developed due to a failed culvert.
CDOT in partnership with Bechtolt Engineering and Williams Construction will now construct the permanent fix, replacing the existing corrugated metal pipe that conveys the South Arkansas River under the truck ramp. The new reinforced concrete pipe and headwall design will decrease the velocity of water flow, lowering the risk of erosion and prolonging the life of the structure. Guardrails and overhead signage will be upgraded to comply with current standards.
The project completion is set for late October.
“This permanent repair will add to the resilience of the highway corridor by prolonging the life of the truck ramp structure and improving safety for semi-truck drivers,” Constan said.
The speed limit for eastbound traffic will be reduced to 25 miles per hour.
CDOT urges commercial truck drivers and passenger vehicle drivers to use extreme caution when traveling eastbound on the east side of the pass.
Most work will take place off the highway, with only limited traffic stops to accommodate periodic movement of equipment or materials.
For additional information about this project:
- Call the project information line at 970-385-1423.
- Email the project team at: [email protected].
- Visit the project website at: http://www.codot.gov/projects/us50-monarch-emergency-truck-ramp.
- Click on link to view the project flyer: Project Flyer.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.