Cottonwood Pass improvement open houses set for March 22, 23 in Garfield and Eagle counties |

Cottonwood Pass improvement open houses set for March 22, 23 in Garfield and Eagle counties

State, county officials working ways to make the pass safer

Six of the fourteen areas for modification to Cottonwood Pass are located in Eagle County. Blue Hill has been identified as the top priority for improving road safety.
Eagle County/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. Eagle County identified six locations to evaluate potential improvements and Garfield County identified eight locations, based on known safety issues.

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. 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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The first open house is March 22, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. The March 23 open house will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Gypsum Town Hall.

For those unable to attend in person, the information will be available on the project web page following the meetings. Comments can be submitted by March 31 via an online comment form. To view the graphics, submit comments, or to join the project mailing list, go to

Following the meetings and public review period, the evaluation of design options will be
finalized and documented in a concept design report that will be shared with Eagle and
Garfield counties and posted on the project web page.

With the information provided by this project, Eagle and Garfield counties will determine the next steps for implementing improvements. If improvements move forward, they would be designed and constructed by the counties as funding becomes available. Funding for the next steps has not been secured, although CDOT and the counties continue to explore grant and other funding opportunities.

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