Cottonwood Pass improvement open houses set for March 22-23 in Glenwood Springs, Gypsum |

Cottonwood Pass improvement open houses set for March 22-23 in Glenwood Springs, Gypsum

State, county officials working on ways to make the pass safer

The 14 areas for modification to Cottonwood Pass are located in Eagle and Garfield counties. Blue Hill on the Eagle County side has been identified as the top priority for improving road safety.
CDOT/courtesy image

Public meetings will take place March 22 and 23 in Garfield and Eagle counties, presenting concept designs aimed at improving safety on county roads over Cottonwood Pass between Gypsum and Colorado Highway 82 in Garfield County.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is supporting the counties with initial concepts for safety improvements to the county roads at 14 specific locations, a CDOT news release states. Eagle County identified six locations to evaluate potential improvements and Garfield County identified eight locations, based on known safety issues.

In Garfield County, the proposed route to Colorado 82 would follow County Road 100 to the Catherine Store intersection east of Carbondale. County commissioners have stated a preference for that route over Cattle Creek or Spring Valley roads.

Cottonwood Pass is a vital connection for local residents who rely on the county road to safely travel between Gypsum and Highway 82. It is often used as an undesignated alternate route when Glenwood Canyon is closed, which has escalated the urgency of addressing safety issues, according to the release.

Gathering public input and estimating the magnitude of construction costs for the early concept designs will help Eagle and Garfield counties determine if and when improvements at each site would move forward.

This project developed options for safety improvements at each of the project sites based on a review of existing conditions and public input gathered throughout the project, including during the first set of public meetings held last summer. Design concepts include spot improvements to soften curves, improve sight distance and increase road width in specific areas to accommodate two vehicles passing.

The public open house meetings are planned to gather feedback regarding the concept options and share the draft evaluation of each option. The same information will be displayed at each meeting, and project staff will be on hand to answer questions. 

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