Road & Bridge

Contact Us

  • Phone: 970-328-3540
    Fax: 970-328-3546

    Road & Bridge
    P.O. Box 250
    Eagle, Colorado 81631

    3289 Cooley Mesa Road 
    Gypsum, Colorado 81637

Glenwood Canyon closure raises questions about Cottonwood Pass

Contact: Brad Higgins, Road & Bridge, 970-328-3540

March 8, 2010 - Last night’s rock slide, which resulted in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) closure of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon, has generated several requests that Eagle County open Cottonwood Pass to thru traffic. While it does appear on local maps, the gravel road is not maintained for winter travel.

According to Brad Higgins, Eagle County’s Director of Road and Bridge, Cottonwood Pass, which connects Gypsum to Cattle Creek south of Glenwood Springs, closes every winter from the end of November until mid-April. “Cottonwood Pass has never been maintained in the winter, nor is it designed to handle a high volume of vehicles, so to simply open it to traffic is not an option,” said Higgins. “Ice and snow accumulate on the sides of the road and create large ruts, making it impassable for regular passenger vehicles or tractor-trailers as well as making it too narrow for two-way traffic.”

According to CDOT’s traveler Web site, the recommended detour from the east is from Wolcott to Steamboat Springs via U.S. Hwy. 131, then to Craig via U.S. Hwy 40, then CO 13 through Meeker and Rifle back to I-70. Motorists should anticipate 4.5 hours from Wolcott to Rifle in good weather. For more information the status of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, as well as statewide road conditions, visit CDOT at