The scheduled closure of U.S. Highway 50 between Fowler and Manzanola went into effect on Monday. The project is projected to last until November.

Work will take place Mondays through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

U.S. 50 is a high traffic highway with a significant amount of large semi-truck travel. For this reason, the highway will be closed to the public to provide adequate safety to work crews and the traveling public.

The work will be between mile points 351.95 and 359.03.

The detours for the project are State Highway 67 from Fowler, to Colorado Highway 96, to State Highway 207 to Manzanola back to U.S. 50. for passenger vehicles. For trucks, the detour will go all the way to State Highway 71, as originally scheduled.

"Route 207 is a very narrow highway which is not equipped for truck travel," said CDOT communications manager Michelle Peulen. "It is hard for trucks to turn on to this highway, but passenger vehicles can handle that road."

Only local traffic will be able to access the closed section between the two towns.

The detour will add 17 minutes to the drive for trucks. For passenger vehicles, the shorter drive will add less time.

"It is my understanding that it will take 7-10 extra minutes for passenger vehicles," Peulen said.

The project will include widening and lengthening the existing passing lanes at the Huerfano River, placing safety rumble stripe at centerlines and shoulders, repairing bridges within the project limits and the reconstruction of the crumbling roadway.

The cost of the project is $10.8 million and the contractor is the Castle Rock Construction Company of Colorado.

This is the second year in which CDOT is making repairs to any of the highways in Otero County. Last year, there were two. There was a construction project on State Highway 71 between U.S. 50 and Ordway for repairs to the bridge spanning the Arkansas River. Also, there was a project on State Highway 10 to repair another bridge over an arroyo.