Central Federal Lands- CO / Guanella Pass Road

Colorado Forest Highway 80 / Guanella Pass Road

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is implementing the project on Colorado Forest Highway 80, also known as Guanella Pass Road, as selected in the project's Record of Decision. The project begins at U.S. Highway 285 in Grant, Colorado, and proceeds in a northerly direction over Guanella Pass, ending at the south edge of Georgetown, Colorado. The alternative that was selected to best balance the transportation and maintenance needs with public concerns and the sensitive nature of the environment was Alternative 6. Alternative 6 provides a consistent roadway width of 22 feet, including two 9-foot lanes and 2-foot shoulders. The type of construction consists of approximately 19 percent full reconstruction, 18 percent light reconstruction, and 63 percent rehabilitation. Under Alternative 6, a combination of surface materials were also chosen, including approximately 56 percent asphalt pavement with a chip seal overlay, 14 percent gravel and a dust suppressant, and 30 percent macadam.

Phase I of the project (from milepost 9.3 to milepost 17.0) was completed in 2007, and Phase II of the project (from milepost 17.0 to the town of Georgetown) is currently under construction. The vast majority of the work constructed has been an enormous success. The exception is those segments of the route that have been surfaced with gravel and macadam in Phase I. These segments have already shown signs of accelerated deterioration in the short period of time since construction. Based on observance of these problems, the FHWA initiated a Route Assessment to evaluate the performance of the improvements. The Route Assessment revealed severe erosion and surface degradation, including rutting, washboarding, premature failures, and excessive surface distress, and recommended surfacing the gravel and macadam portions of the roadway with a permanent and sustainable surface. This report is available on this website.

In order to protect the investment made on the project, the FHWA is evaluating the use of asphalt with a chip seal overlay (consistent with that selected to be used on the remainder of the roadway) on the gravel and macadam portions. The environmental evaluation will focus on the proposed change and any new information or changed circumstances in the corridor and their social, economic, or environmental impacts. Information related to this evaluation will be posted on this website as it becomes available.

Public meetings will be held in the towns of Bailey and Georgetown on March 24 and 26, respectively. Meeting times and locations are provided under the "Public Meetings" link to the left. Your feedback is important. Public input played a critical role in the development of the project and we would like to hear your comments regarding the proposed changes. Please provide comments by either attending one of the public meetings, emailing guanellpass.road@fhwa.dot.gov, or sending written comments to:

Contact Information

The point of contact for this project is:
Mark Meng
Project Manager
Federal Highway Administration
Central Federal Lands Highway Division

Additional information may be obtained by contacting, the Project Manager, Mark Meng, at (720) 963-3727.

Guanella Pass Road Links:

Program Agencies
USDA Forest Service
   ° Arapaho National Forest
   ° Pike National Forest
Colorado Department of Transportation
Federal Lands Highway Program
Local Governments
Clear Creek County
Park County
Town of Georgetown
Guanella Pass Regional Context Map