GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — The narrow, winding, often impassable dirt road between Gypsum and Glenwood Springs used by drivers to get around emergency closures of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon looks like it might be getting safety improvements — eventually. Two open house presentations by the Colorado Department of Transportation are scheduled next week to unveil concept designs to the public.
CDOT is supporting Eagle and Garfield counties with initial concepts for safety improvements to the county roads. Drivers frustrated with rock and mudslide closures of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon discovered the route saved them hours of driving the CDOT-approved 220-mile detour through Silverthorne, Steamboat Springs, Craig, Meeker and Rifle — sometimes.
Traditionally, Cottonwood Pass has been a route for knowledgeable locals commuting between the Roaring Fork and the Eagle valleys, but only when road and weather conditions allow. The pass is closed in winter.
Parts of the road are one-lane and can be impassable when wet due to mud. Precipitous drops with no guard rails on the Gypsum side have taken lives.
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