Letter: Regret about Cottonwood Pass
The Vista Dome was a glass bubble on a railroad car that allowed scenic views. Don’t know if it, or anything similar still exists; however, it was inspired by the desire to enjoy the views of the Glenwood Canyon. On a pullout halfway through the canyon a Vista Dome model car was prominently displayed until vandals and the interstate did it in. Glenwood Canyon views are why I-70 was routed through the canyon and not over and around it via Cottonwood Pass between Gypsum and Cattle Creek. This would have made a bypass through Glenwood by default. Also by default, I-70 closures through the canyon would have been eliminated.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. In the meantime, while I-70 is closed, add a four-hour detour from Wolcott to Rifle via Steamboat, or reroute via Gunnison.
The implications of a highway over Cottonwood Pass make one wonder: Would Glenwood be better off? Glenwood’s fear is that it will be sidelined and minimized by I-70 like New Castle, Gypsum and Eagle. Aspen traffic would bypass Glenwood to and from Denver. Would that have been so bad? Ultimately, Glenwood has to have the confidence in itself to be a destination and not just a passing traveler’s whim, be it by car or train.
For the closure of the railroad… like the branch that led over Tennessee Pass and on to Pueblo via the Salida Canyon, or a dramatic lowering of its grade through town, the dynamic of long-arched Grand Avenue bridge would be moot and give the city much more straight connectivity across the Colorado River. Just some thoughts.
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