Conceptual designs underway for improvements on Cottonwood Pass – Colorado Department of Transportation

Eagle and Garfield Counties – Public meetings are scheduled to introduce a new project to improve safety on county roads that cross 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 in the design of county road safety improvements. CDOT is reviewing security enhancement options for 14 identified locations, six in Eagle County and eight in Garfield County. These locations were selected by the counties based on known security issues.

Cottonwood Pass is a vital connection for local residents who rely on the County Road for safe 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 increased the urgency to address safety issues in a timely manner. Holding public meetings is a critical step in developing a context-aware design and accurate cost estimate that will be ready for delivery.

This project will assess existing conditions and identify options for improving safety. Potential site improvements include smoothing curves, improving sight distance, additional paving and increasing the width of the road in specific areas to allow two vehicles to pass.

“CDOT is extremely responsive to the needs of our partner agencies who manage these routes,” said Region 3 Transportation Manager Jason Smith, “which is why we use the contextual solutions process to ensure that improvements in safety are right for these communities and the places they care about We look forward to hearing feedback at these meetings.

Two public open house meetings are planned to present the project and gather feedback on the desired improvements and design options. The same information will be posted at each meeting and project staff will be available to answer questions. Community members are invited to choose the open house option that best suits them: Tuesday, July 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Glenwood Springs at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, or Wednesday, July 20 from 5:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Gypsum Town Hall Council Chambers, 50 Lundgren Blvd. Following the meetings, public and stakeholder feedback will continue to inform decision-making throughout the project.

For those unable to attend the meeting in person, information on the proposed security enhancements will be available on the project webpage after the meetings. Comments can be submitted at any time via an online feedback form. To view the graphics, submit comments, or join the project mailing list, visit

With the information provided by this project, Eagle and Garfield Counties will determine next steps for implementing improvements. The conceptual design is expected to be completed in early 2023. The counties will complete the design and evaluate further construction of the 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 “inquire before you go”. Gather information on weather forecasts and anticipated impacts on travel and current road conditions before hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

Remember: slow for the cone area

The following tips are intended to help you stay safe when traveling through maintenance and construction work areas.

  • Do not accelerate in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch the workers. Drive with caution.
  • Do not change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving through work areas.
  • Turn on the headlights so workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially vigilant at night when driving through work areas.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak hours.
  • Leave enough space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane changes and merge when prompted.
  • Be patient!

Download the COtrip app!

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

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