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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 Pass 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 has completed fire mitigation work, including the clearing of hazard trees from the designated Right-of-Way (ROW) for the year 2021. Continued clearing will need to be scheduled next Spring.


Working closely with USFS representatives, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and stakeholders in our communities, we were able to schedule time for SMPA contractor, VM West, LP to conduct vegetation removal above US highway 550 in the Mother Cline slide area, South of CR 18. The area North of this point still needs to be cleared.

In order to achieve this objective, Hwy 550 will need to be closed at times in the Spring of 2022. Trailheads 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.

SMPA engineering contractors will still be working in the area rights of way and access road locations over the next several weeks as weather allows. This work should not affect traffic flow on highway 550.


Learn more.

Project Area Map
USFS Press Release
CDOT Facebook
CDOT Twitter



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