Cyclists getting more room on Highway 6 |

Cyclists getting more room on Highway 6

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyA cyclist rides a narrow section of Highway 6 Wednesday between Edwards and Wolcott. The shoulders will be widened to make more room for bikers between Edwards and Eagle.


That is the feeling cyclists get when semi-trucks go roaring by on Highway 6, said Edwards resident Ron Amass of the stretch between Edwards and Eagle.

But Amass can look forward to fewer close calls on the road thanks to a new 2-foot shoulder that will be built starting next year from Squaw Creek Road in Edwards to the Eagle River bridge near Eagle.

“It’s dangerous right now. And it’s too bad because such a pretty stretch,” said Amass, who often bikes the stretch and drives it to-and-from work.

Edwards resident Toph Leonard rides the road all the time during mountain bike racing season.

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“That’s great that they’re doing that,” he said. “It’s about time somebody did something about it before someone gets killed.”

Construction on the project will start in May 2008 beginning with a 2-mile portion in Eagle, said County Commissioner Sara Fisher.

The project is a partnership between Eagle County and the Colorado Department of Transportation and will cost almost $6 million. The county is contributing about $2.5 million. The state will pay for the rest and pave the entire road.

The next two phases of the project will complete 12 miles of shoulder over the next three years. The last two phases could be combined if funding allows, Fisher said.

“It’s really a safety issue because there have been many close calls,” Fisher said. “With more people taking advantage of the road, it really makes sense.”

The shoulder addition will make the road safer for drivers, too, said County Engineer Eva Wilson.

“There are no shoulders right now. If anyone is inattentive, you go off into the dirt, loose control and fall into the ditch or river. With two cars going each way and a bike, there’s no room for error,” she said.

The shoulder will help complete a bike route that would eventually run through the entire valley. A 2.7-mile bike path from Eagle to Gypsum opened in September.

“The long term goal is to connect from Vail Pass to Glenwood Springs,” County Commissioner Arn Menconi said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or

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