Following a lengthy construction closure, Cottonwood Pass in south-central Colorado is expected to reopen on Monday. 

The high mountain pass that connects Buena Vista to Gunnison was slated to open Monday at 9 a.m., once inspections for proper signage were made to the area.  

The west side of the pass has been closed to the summit since 2017 while crews made improvements like widening, realigning and paving the road. Due to late season snowfall and recent thunderstorms, crews have not yet completed placing gravel on the upper section of the road. 

"Most of the pass is paved, but there are sections that are still dirt," an update on the Federal Highway Administration's (FHA) website says. "Drivers can expect slick and muddy conditions during and following rain events. Reduced speed is strongly advised."

According to the FHA, some restrictions and traffic delays remain in place: 

  • Expect up to 30 minute delays (drivers will travel through a work zone led by a pilot car)
  • No trailers or towed vehicles, including boats, campers or OHV's of any kind. 
  • No vehicles over 36 feet in length or wider than 8.5 feet allowed
  • Parking areas are not available. 

The project is expected to be completed later this summer. The east side of the pass from Chaffee County, which was also under construction, opened back to the summit earlier this year. 

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