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The Red Mountain Electrical Reliability and Broadband Improvement Project

The backup power line that serves Ouray County and traverses the beautiful and treacherous Red Mountain along US 550, needs to be re-built. SMPA takes on the largest infrastructure improvement in the history of the cooperative in order to improve electrical reliability while extending a middle-mile broadband pathway.




Project Update:

SMPA is moving forward with Phase 1 of the Red Mountain Project Rebuild. This phase will be the clearing of the existing designated Right-of-Way (ROW) and other hazard trees from the Ouray to the Burro Bridge Substation.

In order to mitigate fire risk, to meet United States Forest Service (USFS) permit guidelines, and to prepare for rebuild construction, SMPA has contracted with VM West, LP to facilitate the vegetation removal this summer season. Working closely with USFS representatives, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and stakeholders in our communities, we have devised a plan to reduce fire risk and harden the reliability of this section of our power system.

In order to achieve this major objective, Hwy 550 will experience partial road closures. At times, trail heads may be temporarily closed, and equipment will need to be operational in SMPA’s Right-of-Way. SMPA will be posting updates to this page as permit stipulations and closure schedules are finalized.

The following dates are TENTATIVE:


Perimeter Trail Closures June 21 - July 16
Helicopter Work June 21 - June 25, July 6
Additional Closures July 19 - August 6


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