Bypass route needed for Glenwood Canyon |

Bypass route needed for Glenwood Canyon

Dear Editor:The design of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon – while it’s pleasant to look at and did manage to save a few trees and win award plaques for the designers – is not only a maintenance nightmare, it is extremely vulnerable to damage due to accidents or Mother Nature. It is only a matter of time until something happens (when, not if) that will close the canyon for up to a month or more. Because a closure of the canyon for any length of time has a real cost (not including inconvenience) in lost wages, truck delays, etc. that can be thousands of dollars per hour, the time has come to build an alternative route around the canyon.The obvious choice for this all-weather route is Cottonwood Pass. The Colorado Department of Transportation website lists Cottonwood Pass as FR 209, 306 (federal route?) and the fact that CDOT closed the route (as reported by the Post) after the rockslide indicates that the state is responsible for some if not the entire route.The present route down Cattle Creek would never be adequate to handle the traffic, but with realignment to El Jebel, the additional traffic could be accommodated. Such alignment would require approximately 5 miles of new grade through Association Gulch to Shippees Draw to Cattle Creek to Spring Park Reservoir.This route would have an additional advantage for those traveling to or from Aspen to the east and could relieve some of the traffic in the lower Roaring Fork.Doug MartinGlenwood Springs