Road near Red Cliff will see repair work next week

Road above Red Cliff was closed in 2019 due to damage from heavy spring runoff

Wearyman Road, a U.S. Forest Service road above Red Cliff, has been closed since 2019. Work this summer will temporarily re-open the road.
U.S. Forest Service/Courtesy photo

Repair work to temporarily re-open Wearyman Road above Red Cliff will begin next week thanks to a partnership among the White River National Forest, Eagle River Watershed Council, and the National Forest Foundation.

The lower section of this road, officially called the McAllister Gulch Road (NFSR 708), has been closed since 2019 when heavy spring run-off caused a hillside to collapse and block the road. The work to temporarily open the road should take several weeks. It will include clearing the blockage and addressing some areas where Wearyman Creek is flowing down the road.

“We are pleased that we should be able to re-open this popular road to the public in the coming weeks,” Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis said in a news release. “Meanwhile, we will soon be assessing long-term options for a more sustainable road that will have reduced impacts to the watershed.”

The Forest Service in the coming months will begin a planning effort to address the long-term sustainability of the road. This effort will include multiple opportunities for public and stakeholder engagement. Wearyman Road will likely be closed again when this long-term road work begins.

“Wearyman Creek flows into Turkey Creek, which is the source for the town of Red Cliff’s drinking water,” said Anna Nakae, projects coordinator from the Eagle River Watershed Council. “Reducing erosion from this road will reduce the amount of sediment reaching Turkey Creek, improving both water quality and stream habitat. We look forward to continuing to work with the Forest Service to address the long-term erosion issues.”

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The repair work to temporarily re-open the road is being funded through a National Forest Foundation Ski Conservation Fund grant to the Eagle River Watershed Council. The Ski Conservation Fund is a partnership between the National Forest Foundation and Vail Resorts. Resort guests can donate $1 or more to this fund when purchasing online tickets and season passes. The NFF then provides a 50-cent match on every dollar donated by guests and oversees the investment of those funds in forest stewardship projects on the White River National Forest. Projects are selected on an annual basis by an advisory committee that engages Eagle County community stakeholders.

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