Gold Camp Road decision expected after July 4
A decision on future plans for Gold Camp Road will be announced “shortly after July 4,” according to U.S. Forest Service
Outdoor Recreation Planner Frank Landis.
A final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been awaited from the federal agency since it ended about a year of public debate on the matter March 15.
At issue is what to do with a closed 8.5-mile segment of the historic mountain road to Cripple Creek. The Forest Service's draft EIS, released last January, suggested seasonally opening the segment to one-way traffic coming up from Colorado Springs (with the main access along the Westside's 26th Street). However, there was also support for reopening it to two-way traffic or to keeping it closed to preserve a burgeoning “recreational mecca” for hikers and bikers.
Based on public input and research, the Forest Service was also giving scrutiny to creative ideas for the first mile of Gold Camp's 8.5 mile segment, because it has two popular trailheads and the vast majority of the hikers and bikers go no farther than them.
“We've pretty much got the record of decision written,” Landis reported, adding that a precise release date cannot be announced yet because “we're trying to get everybody's scheduled aligned.”
Originally a train route to Cripple Creek gold, the route became a highway in the 1920s. The 8.5-mile segment closed in 1988 after a partial collapse of a tunnel.
Westside Pioneer article