"Whether it is the use of chutes or other preventative measures,
it would seem that it is time for CDOT to make a determination of what other measures should be taken to harden the canyon from further slides and resultant closures because there are no other practical alternate routes for commercial trucking."
~ KMOHR President, Karen Moculeski
"It is important to recognize that use of this “Concept Design” for addressing future traffic beyond local volumes is completely inappropriate. It would be far more effective to utilize future public monies to improve Glenwood Canyon by tackling debris flow, traffic safety and other hazards that close I-70 instead of pursuing expedient solutions on country roads through very rural portions of Garfield and Eagle Counties. Poorly considered solutions to the I-70 closures utilizing Cottonwood Pass are prohibitively expensive and will destroy the pastoral character and qualities of the lands that will be impacted. The Cottonwood Pass Concept Design ideas should only be used to improve roads for local traffic during nonwinter months. This project objective should be clearly stated at the beginning of the document and in all conclusions to ensure that the information is not used inappropriately in the future to create an I-70 detour for Glenwood Canyon closures."
CDOT holds open house in Glenwood Springs addressing contentious alternate route through Eagle, Garfield counties
The final report will be posted to the website in early June.
As of now we are not planning to hold any further presentations with the Counties.
CDOT submitted a RAISE grant application for $5M which was packaged with around $25M of work in Glenwood Canyon.
CDOT is planning to submit for another grant, PROTECT, when that becomes available. The draft amount is $23M but that could change when the grant information comes out. The PROTECT grant will be packaged with quite a few other projects.
KMOHR will advocate for stakeholder involvement as CDOT, Garfield and Eagle County participate in a feasibility study for improving Cottonwood Pass. We will work to facilitate public understanding of the project and to promote public participation.
Sign up for email updates. Email subject: "Opt in" to KeepMOHRural@gmail.com
CDOT finally admits that this project is about more than safety for local users of Cottonwood Pass
"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. Gathering public input and estimating the magnitude of construction costs for the early concept designs will help Eagle and Garfield counties determine if and when improvements at each site would move forward.
KMOHR discusses CW Pass with Gov. Polis on August 21 in Carbondale.
Our president and one of our Board Members got some face time with the Governor on Sunday. Discussion points included:
Polis: The Canyon will get closed from time to time. KMOHR: Everything needs to be done to keep it open.
KMOHR: Is the use of "shed type tunnels" on GW Canyon being considered? Polis: they are expensive. KMOHR: It will expensive to "fix" Cottonwood it doesn't have services (such as cell phone connectivity).
KMOHR: We represent residents in MO Heights. Polis: Are you attending public meetings? KMOHR: We are and we continue to urge residents to be involved.
Follow-up Letter to the Editor from the KMOHR President
"As a partial response to LJ Erspamer’s letter (“Canyon needs avalanche chutes,” Sept. 5) concerning the use of avalanche-type chutes in Glenwood Canyon to mitigate future rockslides, individuals associated with Keep MO Heights Rural, a nonprofit organization, have posed the question of the use of chutes to CDOT, Garfield County officials and the governor’s office and have received various replies such as “it won’t work,” “ it would result in debris in the river” and “it costs too much.”
Whether it is the use of chutes or other preventative measures, it would seem that it is time for CDOT to make a determination of what other measures should be taken to harden the canyon from further slides and resultant closures because there are no other practical alternate routes for commercial trucking."
This is just one example of why it is important to donate to KMOHR!
Why should you stay informed and get involved?
"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."
Although safety improvement is the stated goal of this feasibility study.....
Cottonwood Pass is on Gov. Polis's radar as closures continue in Glenwood Canyon.
There may be significant changes if improvements are made and if the residents don't articulate concerns now....then CDOT and Eagle and Garfield Counties will be free to make improvements as they see fit. - As an example, there was no public input or explanation in the selection of Catherine Store Rd. as the "preferred route" connecting the pass to Hwy 82.
The CDOT Feasibility Study could have a key role in implementing the I-70 Detour Act if enacted. It could potentially inform the DOT study and report required by the Act.
These are important reasons why both stakeholder involvement in the CDOT Feasibility Study and donations to KMOHR are very important.