Bike race to impact traffic

By Michael Maresh Journal staff writer

Highways 160 and 184 will be closed up to two hours on Monday due to the second annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge that will start in Durango and end in Telluride, according to the Colorado State Highway Patrol.

The professional cyclists and their support crews will be in Durango, where the race will begin at 10 a.m.

Sgt. Matt Ozanic with the Colorado State Patrol said approximately 50 minutes after the start, which includes a three-lap loop around Durango, cyclists will be on the road from Durango to the Montezuma County Line on Highway 160. The highway will be closed for 90 minutes to two hours for the racers and support crews to get through.

At 12:11 p.m., the highway from the county line to Mancos will be closed for traffic as cyclists make their way into the town before making the turn on Highway 184, Ozanic said.

Ozanic also said Highway 184 at about the same time will be closed as cyclists make their turns heading toward Dolores, while Highway 160 between Mancos and Durango will reopen.

Highway 145 will be closed for traffic at the Highway 184 eastbound intersection between 12:45 and 3:15 p.m.

He also said that he expects each closure of the race to last anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours whether that be for the stretch of road between Durango and Mancos or Mancos to Dolores.

Ozanic also said that if someone needs to find a way to get to a place where the roads are closed they should go to the Colorado Department of Transportation website and the Cotrip link to try to find an alternate route, though there really is not one for drivers wanting to get from Durango to Hesperus or Mancos while cyclists are on the roadway.

Ozanic said the website will help motorists who have pressing concerns on alternate routes in the area on Monday.

The state patrol will also have a Chevrolet Tahoe on the route which will have a sign signalling when the road is open for motorists.

He added that one of the best places to watch the race will be in Dolores when they will be sprinting to a finish line to rack up additional points. He also recommended watching the King of the Mountain finish on Hesperus Hill.

He said Monday travel for Cortez residents or for Mancos residents traveling west on Highway 160 will not be impacted because this stretch of the roadway will not be closing at any time.

Ozanic said the Colorado State Highway Patrol has some experience in handling the race on the law enforcement side since they were in charge of road closures and other things during last year’s race.

“It went off very well the first year, but the race did not come in this area in the first year,” Ozanic said.

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