Update: Routt County Road 82 reopens
Editor’s note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
This story was updated at 11 a.m. on July 1 to reflect the opening of County Road 82.
This story was updated at 4:50 p.m., June 30, to indicate the work on County Road 80 concluded and would no longer affect travelers using the road as an alternate route.
This story was updated at 1:45 p.m., June 30, to include a statement from the U.S. Forest Service.
Routt County Road 82, which is along the suggested route to the Rainbow Gathering in north Routt County, has reopened as the stuck vehicles have been removed and conditions have improved, according to a release from the county.
“This is a minimal maintenance dirt road that can become impassible with the amount of rain that area has seen,” said Public Works Director Mike Mordi in the release.
The road will remain open, weather permitting.
Routt County Road 82 closed to traffic due to current road conditions on Thursday, June 30, according to a release from Routt County. The road is closed at the Moffat County border, where the road becomes Moffat County Road 1, and continues east.
“The current conditions are slick and muddy and there are vehicles that are stuck in the mud,” said Amanda Sheperd, the county’s public information officer. “Until weather improves and things can dry out, it will be closed.”
The road is along the suggested route to the 50th anniversary Rainbow Gathering in Adams Park in Routt National Forest, as announced on Facebook on June 14.
When asked whether high traffic due to the Rainbow Gathering was a factor in the closure, Sheperd only replied, “the closure is due to the muddy, slick conditions.”
There is no timeline for reopening, as the ground drying out is dependent on weather.
The gathering is not authorized by the Forest Service and is an unlawful gathering of more than 75 people, which would typically require a special-use permit from the agency. So, there is no designated route to the gathering, and therefore, there is no designated alternative route.
“We haven’t been in favor of it regardless of how many routes in or out there are,” said Aaron Voos, public affairs specialist for the Forest Service. “There’s always the possibility there could be closures of some type and that’s just part of what comes with it. … It’s an unauthorized event. We haven’t provided access one way or another to begin with. We’re working with both counties regarding the roads they maintain through there.”
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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