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Author Topic: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass  (Read 2352 times)

aboges26

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US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« on: August 09, 2020, 05:37:01 PM »

Construction has started, utility relocations are underway and as the following article states, an access road is the first bit of actual construction to work on the hill segment before realigning / expanding the existing route south of the bypass as early as spring 2021.

https://durangoherald.com/articles/332261-biggest-project-about-to-break-ground-in-southwest-colorado



An even better graphic of the project can be found here:

https://www.codot.gov/projects/us550-us160-connectionsouth/assets/2020_0630_cdot_us550_finalprojectmap_05.pdf
« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 06:08:18 PM by aboges26 »
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abqtraveler

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2020, 11:45:39 PM »

Is this part of a larger plan to widen US-550 to 4 lanes from US-160 to the New Mexico state line?
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2-d Interstates traveled:  4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76(E), 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 87(N), 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95

2-d Interstates Clinched:  12, 22, 30, 44, 59, 80, 84(E), 86(E), 238, H1, H2, H3, H201

aboges26

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2020, 11:57:00 PM »

Is this part of a larger plan to widen US-550 to 4 lanes from US-160 to the New Mexico state line?

It is along with widening US 160 to 4 lanes divided from just east of Durango to the San Juan National Forest boundary just east of Bayfield, with possible interchanges at the Three Springs Blvd and CO 172 / CR 234 intersections.

However, the project to widen the rest of US 550 south of the CR 302 intersection to the northern end of the 4 lanes from NM will come after this project along with the US 160 expansion separately before or after the rest of US 550.

So they are planned but may not yet be programmed, and who knows how COVID might delay them.  I had tracked down plans for these 2 other projects at one time and believe La Plata County referred to them as "Growth Fund Projects" then, but I am coming up empty-handed when searching for the links now.

I am just thankful the Farmington Hill bypass project is finally starting and the "Bridge to Nowhere" interchange will become a key piece of infrastructure in SW Colorado.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 12:08:40 AM by aboges26 »
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thenetwork

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2020, 10:05:06 AM »

^^ Hear hear!!  Both 550 and 160 widenings/improvements are sorely needed.  I travel frequently through there and it gets frustrating. 

Whenever I need to go from Farmington to Bayfield or Pagosa, I take the Ignacio cutoff (CR 310) and Buck Highway to avoid the traffic.  Otherwise you're stuck behind the slowpokes who only like to meet or exceed the speed limits when there is a passing lane to try to ensure they can continue to lead the parade.
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Gulol

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2020, 11:01:13 AM »

^^ Hear hear!!  Both 550 and 160 widenings/improvements are sorely needed.  I travel frequently through there and it gets frustrating. 

Whenever I need to go from Farmington to Bayfield or Pagosa, I take the Ignacio cutoff (CR 310) and Buck Highway to avoid the traffic.  Otherwise you're stuck behind the slowpokes who only like to meet or exceed the speed limits when there is a passing lane to try to ensure they can continue to lead the parade.

This x1000 for all of Colorado!!!  Thankfully many of these folks have the Pioneer license plate which makes them easy to identify and plan to pass before they have a chance to continue their evil plans of maintaining speeds at or below the speed limit on major highways and freeways. 
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thenetwork

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2020, 11:18:25 AM »

^^ Hear hear!!  Both 550 and 160 widenings/improvements are sorely needed.  I travel frequently through there and it gets frustrating. 

Whenever I need to go from Farmington to Bayfield or Pagosa, I take the Ignacio cutoff (CR 310) and Buck Highway to avoid the traffic.  Otherwise you're stuck behind the slowpokes who only like to meet or exceed the speed limits when there is a passing lane to try to ensure they can continue to lead the parade.

This x1000 for all of Colorado!!!  Thankfully many of these folks have the Pioneer license plate which makes them easy to identify and plan to pass before they have a chance to continue their evil plans of maintaining speeds at or below the speed limit on major highways and freeways. 

And the very same remedial drivers who will travel anywhere between 40 and 65 in a 60 zone.

Two words:  Cruise Control!
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aboges26

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 09:56:41 PM »

New article in the Durango Hearald came out yesterday, work in the near term will not be limited to just utility relocations as CDOT will break ground in the coming days.

https://durangoherald.com/articles/335734-cdot-to-break-ground-on-986-million-us-highway-550-realignment

I was surprised to read that work was initially scoped to 1.1 miles (Bridge to Nowhere interchange to CR 220) and would not have made it to the divided 4 lane section at CR 302.
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thenetwork

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2020, 09:56:19 AM »

It has now been a few months since work started on the hill bypass, and depending on what US Highway you travel on (550 or 160), the difference is night and day.

Atop the hill along US-550, contractors have been quickly carving out and grading the new alignment, making it look like this was to have been finished yesterday...In contrast, along US-160 by the Bridge to Nowhere, nothing has been disturbed yet, which is weird, as the alignment needs to "break through" the existing hillside to meet up with the bridge and existing ramps and does not seem to be in sync with the rest of the visible construction.

Next time I'm through there I need to exit at the Bridge To Nowhere just to see that section up close.
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thenetwork

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021, 08:23:53 PM »

Based on the last time I was through the US-550 area:

• They are starting to finally clear the last sections of property between the brief expressway section of US-550 north to the current project area.  A couple of structures will likely be razed and a farm sprinkler system will need to be re-located.

At the current US-160/US-550 Farmington Hill intersection,  bridge piers can be seen being built on the Mesa above that intersection.

They still have yet to "break through" on the northern-most section by the current "interchange to nowhere".
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zzcarp

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2021, 12:42:26 PM »

This Facebook post that shows photos of the US 550 construction from April.
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thenetwork

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2021, 12:36:32 PM »

This Facebook post that shows photos of the US 550 construction from April.

Wow, I knew there was some earth that had to be moved on the northern end, but I didn't realize there was THAT much that had to be taken out to complete the connection.
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Elm

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2021, 02:13:21 PM »

This Facebook post that shows photos of the US 550 construction from April.

Wow, I knew there was some earth that had to be moved on the northern end, but I didn't realize there was THAT much that had to be taken out to complete the connection.
Same here—that's fascinating.

I'm going to be a passenger driving through there soon, and I was wondering if I'd see anything from 160—seems like not much, but it's interesting to see it develop by photos and videos anyway.
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texaskdog

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2021, 02:55:10 PM »

Thus actually making the journey on 550 longer.
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thenetwork

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2021, 08:04:04 PM »

This Facebook post that shows photos of the US 550 construction from April.

Wow, I knew there was some earth that had to be moved on the northern end, but I didn't realize there was THAT much that had to be taken out to complete the connection.
Same here—that's fascinating.

I'm going to be a passenger driving through there soon, and I was wondering if I'd see anything from 160—seems like not much, but it's interesting to see it develop by photos and videos anyway.

You'll just see one of the bridge spans from US-160, but if you make a short detour onto US-550 South for a few miles, you'll be driving next to the work zone and can see what has been done and what still needs to be moved/relocated on the southern end of the project.  At least the times I've been through there, the traffic still moves at a good clip.

And if you are traveling US-160 east of Durango, take note of the SONOCO station at the top of the hill.  *Not* SUNOCO...
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zzcarp

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Re: US 550 Farmington Hill Bypass
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2021, 09:28:35 PM »

CDOT released a 2 minute video showing the girder placement on the new gulch bridge.
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