Work begins on Vail Pass Rest Area replacement

Travel Advisory

April 18, 2022 - Northwestern Colorado - Rest area will temporarily close May 2 through October 2023

Eagle/Summit County Rest Area Building and Sidewalk

Summit/Eagle County Rest Area on I-70 - view from highway

Eagle and Summit Counties — The Vail Pass Rest Area will temporarily close starting May 2. The closure will allow CDOT and contractor crews to demolish and reconstruct the rest area building, as well as improve access roads and parking facilities. The new facility is designed to meet the high demand for services at the top of Vail Pass. Motorists should anticipate the rest area will remain closed through October 2023. Drivers will still be able to use exit 190 (Vail Pass), but there will not be restroom facilities available. CDOT encourages motorists to use other rest areas nearby, including the Gateway Visitor Center in Georgetown and the Edwards Rest Area in Edwards. Motorists should anticipate rest area closures in Glenwood Canyon if there is rain in the forecast.

Backcountry recreation access from the rest area is popular on Vail Pass. During the rest area closure, there will continue to be recreation access to adjacent National Forest lands, including Shrine Pass Road, Black Lakes Road, Wilder Gulch Trail and the paved Vail Pass Recreation Path. There will be limited parking. Click here for more information about backcountry recreation in this area.

The Vail Pass Recreation Path will remain open this summer. Users should anticipate defined recreational path access through the rest area site, as well as a detour on the path from Mile Points 185.5 to 187, located on the west side of the pass. The detour is necessary as crews make safety improvements to the recreation path included in the West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes project. More information about the recreation path detour and road project can be found here. Construction impacts to the trail will be minimized whenever possible.

I-70 Summit Eagle Rest Area Indoor Bathroom Stalls

I-70 Summit Eagle Rest Area Indoor Bathroom Sinks

5/12Snow-coverd rest area roof

5/12I-70 Rest Area shower stall

About the Project

The purpose of the Vail Pass Rest Area replacement is to improve the existing rest area facilities to increase restroom user capacity, update the existing drinking water treatment system in accordance with health department criteria, increase parking capacity for all users and, improve traffic circulation, accessibility, safety, and connectivity at the site. Improvements will also address winter maintenance operational issues and increase capacity for maintenance equipment storage and snow storage on site. The project is needed to:

  • Update the restroom facilities to meet current and future capacity needs
  • Replace the existing drinking water system with a new reliable system to meet the current and future volume of use
  • Increase parking capacity for users
    \Address the current ingress and egress traffic pattern to improve user safety, circulation, and accessibility to the rest area, other connecting roads, and trails for all users
  • Improve winter maintenance operations by adding snow and equipment storage
    The Vail Pass Rest Area Replacement Project team is following the CSS process to define goals and outcomes, establish criteria and evaluate alternatives. To find out more about the CSS process on the I-70 Mountain Corridor, click here.

Rest areas are an important asset to the traveling public and have a direct impact on the economic vitality of our state. At the direction of the Transportation Commission, a statewide rest area study was completed in 2016 to establish a framework to assess and identify rest areas that were in need of improvements. In January of 2019, the rest areas were assigned a letter grade based on a set of criteria and the Vail Pass Rest Area building and treatment systems were beyond repair.

Project Information

For additional information about this project:

Know Before You Go

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!

Download the COtrip App!

The new FREE COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!