Concept designs underway for improvements on Cottonwood Pass

Travel Advisory

July 13, 2022 - Northwestern Colorado - Public invited to attend open house events this month

Eagle and Garfield Counties – 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 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, additional paving, and increased road width in specific areas to accommodate two vehicles passing.

“CDOT is extremely sensitive to the needs of our partner agencies managing these roads,” said Region 3 Transportation Director Jason Smith, “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. We look forward to hearing feedback during these meetings.”

Two public open house meetings are planned to introduce the project and gather feedback regarding desired improvements and design options. 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, or Wednesday, July 20 from 5:00 – 7:00 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.

For those unable to attend the meeting in person, the information about the proposed safety improvements will be available on the project web page 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. Concept design is expected to be complete by early 2023. The counties will complete 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

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!

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