Vail Pass Rest Area Replacement Project - Study

Design Study

Virtual Public Engagement

CDOT is gathering feedback on the Vail Pass Rest Area Replacement Project during a public engagement through February 20th. Please visit the link below to review the project presentation and submit feedback on core values and the design alternatives. 

Virtual Public Engagement

About the Project

Rest areas are an important asset to the traveling public and have a direct impact on the economic vitality of our state. At the direction of the Transportation Commission, a statewide rest area study was completed in 2016 to establish a framework to assess and identify rest areas that were in need of improvements. In January of 2019, the rest areas were assigned a letter grade based on a set of criteria and the Vail Pass Rest Area was determined to need significant repair. CDOT is currently in the design phase to replace the building to improve restroom capacity, parking capacity, and enhance safety and connectivity at the site.

Vaill Pass RA.jpg

Project Facts

  • The project was awarded $11.5 million from the Transportation Commission
  • The project is designing a new building and new parking lots for all users
  • Water treatment systems will be  replaced
  • Construction is anticipated to begin in  Spring 2022
  • View our project schedule for more detailed information

  • The 2016 Rest Area Study noted that the Vail Pass Rest Area is the only rest point for truck traffic on the 69-mile stretch between Georgetown and Vail which exceeds the 60-mile spacing guidance provided by AASHTO.
  • The January 2019 assessments determined that the Vail Pass Rest Area must be replaced for the following reasons:
    • Inadequate supply of potable water
    • Current wastewater treatment facility cannot meet demand
    • Parking space is inadequate
    • Truck parking is not separated from passenger car parking for user safety
    • Lacks fixture capacity to meet demand
    • The facility has numerous ADA deficiencies
  • Costs to replace the building, parking lot, water treatment facility, and wastewater treatment facility was estimated to cost $11.5M
  • The TC provided $11.5M for the Vail Pass Rest Area Replacement using FY20 and 21 program distribution funds.
    • $8M for Construction
    • $1.5M for Design
    • $2M for the immediate replacement of the wastewater treatment facility.
  • On January 23, 2020, Project Staff met with CDOT R3, USFS, and FHWA to understand their goals and concerns
  • Finally, a pre-scoping meeting was held on January 29, 2020, and included Project Staff, CDOT R3, CDOT Headquarters and FHWA to identify inputs and requirements

Defining a purpose and identifying needs is an important milestone for every project. The Vail Pass Purpose and Need Statement are below.

The purpose of the Vail Pass Rest Area Project is to improve the existing rest area facilities to increase restroom user capacity, update the existing drinking water treatment system in accordance with health department criteria, increase parking capacity for all users and, improve traffic circulation, accessibility, safety, and connectivity at the site. Improvements will also address winter maintenance operational issues and increase capacity for maintenance equipment storage and snow storage on site.

The project is needed too:

  • Update the restroom facilities to meet current and future capacity needs
  • Replace the existing drinking water system with a new reliable system to meet the current and future volume of use
  • Increase parking capacity for users
  • Address the current ingress and egress traffic pattern to improve user safety, circulation, and accessibility to the rest area, other connecting roads, and trails for all users
  • Improve winter maintenance operations by adding snow and equipment storage
The Vail Pass Rest Area Replacement Project will follow the CSS process to define goals and outcomes, establish criteria, and evaluate alternatives. To find out more about the CSS process on the I-70 Mountain Corridor, click here. Additional information will be posted here as it becomes.