Cottonwood Pass will be closed for construction on both east and west sides throughout 2018.
At 12,126 feet, Cottonwood is one of the highest paved roads in the country and the most direct route between Buena Vista, Taylor Park Reservoir and Gunnison.
This spring, Chaffee County started repairs on its side of the pass. The road will be closed from west of the Avalanche Trailhead.
The Chaffee County project will cost approximately $18.6 million, funded almost entirely by the federal government through the Federal Lands Access Program. The county will pay about $2 million of the cost.
Gunnison County work is estimated at $27 million, with FLAP covering most of the cost.
Construction will extend from Buena Vista town limits and will involve pulverizing the road’s current pavement, which was laid in the 1980s, and recycling it into a base, then putting 3 inches of fresh pavement on top of that.
The project includes guardrail work and improving parking at Denny Creek and the summit.