Red Canyon Road south of Glenwood Springs under winter closure
Long-term future of route uncertain
Red Canyon Road just south of Glenwood Springs is closed until further notice due to hazardous conditions after the recent series of winter storms.
Long term, the road will either need to be rebuilt or closed permanently, County Road and Bridge Supervisor Wyatt Keesbery said Monday.
Garfield County commissioners acted on Keesbery’s recommendation during their regular meeting Monday to issue a 90-day emergency closure of the road (also known as County Road 115).
“We had an event where it rained, then froze, and then we had snow on top of that, which made the road very icy,” Keesbery said.
Red Canyon Road serves a handful of properties and large-lot subdivisions on the northern end of Spring Valley and up the Lookout Mountain Road (County Road 120).
Alternative access is available via Spring Valley (County Road 114) to the south near Colorado Mountain College, though many residents use Red Canyon as a more direct short-cut to and from Glenwood Springs.
Road and bridge crews will monitor the situation, and it’s possible the road could reopen before the 90-day closure expires in early April. It could also remain closed into the spring, if conditions warrant, Keesbery said.
Red Canyon Road is a challenge to maintain even in the summer, he said, especially during wet weather, because of the steep uphill grade and narrow roadway snaking up the canyon wall from the Colorado Highway 82 intersection.
Looking ahead, the road may need to be closed permanently, unless it can be rebuilt, Keesbery said.
The original road was built using wood cribbing to create the base, which over time has been undercut by runoff and erosion, he explained.
Commission Chairman John Martin said the board would address the longer-term concerns at another time, up to and including possibly vacating the road, if necessary.
Commissioners did not offer any further thoughts on that prospect but agreed a winter closure is necessary.
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