Eagle County seeks public input for safety improvements on Cottonwood Pass

Cottonwood Pass between Gypsum and the Roaring Fork Valley has opened for the season. The road will be open through the fall, conditions permitting. The road can be a challenging drive for many.
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Public meetings are planned to introduce a new project aimed at improving safety on county roads that traverse Cottonwood Pass between Gypsum in Eagle County and Colorado Highway 82 in Garfield County.

The two public open house meetings will introduce the project and gather feedback regarding desired improvements. The same information will be displayed at each meeting and project staff will be on hand to answer questions. Community members are invited to choose the open house option most convenient for them:

  • Tuesday, July 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Glenwood Springs at the Glenwood Springs Community Center
  • Wednesday, July 20 from 5-7 p.m. at the Gypsum Town Hall Council Chamber, 50 Lundgren Boulevard.

Following the meetings, public and stakeholder input will continue to inform decision-making throughout the project. The Colorado Department of Transportation is supporting Eagle and Garfield counties with designing safety improvements to the county roads. CDOT is reviewing safety improvement options for 14 identified locations — six in Eagle County and eight in Garfield County. These locations were selected by the counties 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 CO 82 in the Roaring Fork Valley. It is often used as an undesignated alternate route when Glenwood Canyon is closed, which has escalated the urgency of addressing safety issues in a timely fashion. Completing public meetings is a critical step in developing a context-sensitive design and accurate cost estimate that will be ready to deliver. 

This project will assess existing conditions and define options for safety improvements. Potential site improvements include curve softening, improved sight distance and increased road width in specific areas to accommodate two vehicles passing. Improvements will not include paving or adding lanes along the full Cottonwood Pass route.

“CDOT is extremely sensitive to the needs of our partner agencies managing these roads, which is why we’re using the Context Sensitive Solutions process to ensure the safety improvements are a good fit for these communities and the locations they care deeply about,” said Region 3 Transportation Director Jason Smith. “We look forward to hearing feedback during these meetings.”

For those unable to attend the meeting in person, the information about the proposed safety improvements will be available on the project webpage following the meetings. Comments can be submitted anytime via an online comment form. To view the graphics, submit comments, or to join the project mailing list, visit

With the information provided by this project, Eagle and Garfield counties will determine next steps for implementing improvements. The concept design is expected to be complete by early 2023. The counties will complete the design and evaluate pursuing construction of improvements as funding becomes available in the future.

Project Information: For more information on the Cottonwood Pass Concept Design project, visit

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