There is some good news and bad news for local Mt. Garfield hiking enthusiasts.

The bad news is the concrete box culvert that provides access to the Mt. Garfield trailhead is in bad shape and needs to be replaced. The culvert, which was built in 1962,  has been identified as a "critical culvert in poor condition." The Mt. Garfield Culvert Study indicates the culvert, left unmitigated, could fail structurally. The result could mean significant damage to Interstate 70 and a dramatic effect on access to the Garfield trailhead and adjacent properties.

The good news is that the project, which began in the summer of 2019, is exploring ways to address the problem of the poor condition of the existing culvert. The Colorado Department of Transportation is now gathering feedback on the study with a public engagement period that runs through November 20. Following the close of the public engagement period, recommendations will be prepared, and efforts will be made to obtain project funding.

Mt. Garfield is an extremely popular hiking trail in the Grand Valley, but not everybody has the ability to tackle such a challenging hike. That means plenty of folks have never even been to the Mt. Garfield trailhead and, consequently, might not understand exactly what we are talking about.

To access the Mt. Garfield trailhead, you have to drive through the concrete box culvert that goes under I-70 at milepost 39.96 where 35 8/10 Road intersects with the interstate. You pass through the culvert and then drive up to the trailhead. During periods of precipitation, the culvert fills with water making passage impossible.

If you would like to learn more about the Mt. Garfield project or provide feedback, you can respond virtually on the CDOT website. After nearly 60 years of service, it must time to get this culvert replaced and, perhaps in the process, improve access to Mt. Garfield.

WORTH THE TRIP: Hiking Liberty Cap Trail in Grand Junction

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