CDOT Approves OHV Pilot Project 2021 thru 2023

New OHV Pilot Program Approved for Three Years

March 18, 2021

Lake City, CO – Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Transportation Commission gave unanimous approval today to a new three-year Pilot Program that will allow Off-Highway Vehicles to operate on State Highway 149. This program makes it possible for OHV riders to travel the entire Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, which requires traveling on a 3.26-mile stretch of Hwy 149.

The Pilot Program will run seasonally in 2021, 2022 and 2023, from the Friday before Memorial Day through September 30 of each year. OHVs will be able to ride on Hwy 149 from CR 30 south of Lake City, to the Ocean Wave Drive intersection (MP 73.11) on the northern end of Lake City. OHVs are not permitted to ride on any other areas of the highway at any time outside the boundaries of the program.

OHVs are permitted on all Town and County roads. The Pilot Program only affects travel on the highway.

Hinsdale County, Town of Lake City and Hinsdale County Sheriff Department worked with CDOT representatives to identify specific considerations to be included in the pilot program permit that are intended to maximize the safety of OHVs traveling on the highway. After first reviewing the pilot program application in February, the Transportation Commission requested these safety conditions be included in the resolution up for approval.

Specific conditions of the pilot program include:

  • Revised and increased signage indicating the beginning and end of the route, speed limit, and dates when the program is in effect.
  • Any accidents involving OHVs will be reported to CDOT within 2 weeks of the incident.
  • The speed limit for the portion of SH 149 included in the pilot project will be lowered to 30 mph for all vehicles during the seasonal period of the program.
  • OHVs are required to follow Colorado traffic laws and County and Town OHV ordinances.
  • Hinsdale County Sheriff Department will hire an additional officer with a focus at enforcing ordinances regarding OHV’s.
  • Hinsdale County will increase penalties and fines for OHV infractions.
  • Education efforts to inform OHV riders of rules and safety will include volunteer-manned information stop, maps of the Pilot Program route with rules, informational material on OHV operation and the Pilot Program, information on the Hinsdale County and Lake City.com website and social media.
  • CDOT will be provided a report on the pilot program at the end of each OHV season, including specific data from law enforcement, CSP and CPW on numbers of accidents involving OHVs on the highway, warnings issued to OHV drivers, tickets issued to OHV drivers.
  • OHV counts on the portion of the highway included in the Pilot Program will take place eight times (twice per month) during the four-month duration of each year’s program. This information will be included in the end-of-the-season report to CDOT.
  • Hinsdale County will set up a link on the county website where the public can submit feedback/suggestions for the Pilot Program. This feedback will be incorporated into the annual end-of-season report to CDOT.

A similar Pilot program took place on Hwy 149 in the summers of 2019 and 2020. Following the close of the 2020 season, public input was solicited regarding the pilot program for consideration by Hinsdale County and the Town of Lake City for a possible application for a new pilot program. Following several separate and two joint meetings, county commissioners and town trustees directed their staff to work with CDOT on an application for a new three-year pilot program. This application was submitted in January, 2021.

Hinsdale County Press Release March 18, 2021

Hinsdale County, Colorado – State of the County 2021

 

State of the County 2021 Statement

Colorado Counties, Inc. FB Post January 10, 2020

We love a good counties helping counties story here at CCI. Here is a photo of the clearing of Cinnamon Pass in Hinsdale County. Communicating with our high-mountain, remote counties was especially important during the 2019 spring/summer opening of the Alpine Loop. This partnership with Road & Bridge departments and assistance during a record snowfall / run-off year was vital for Hinsdale County. Mutual aid also came from Emergency Managers and Sheriff’s Offices to Hinsdale from Gunnison, San Juan, San Miguel, Mineral, and Ouray counties, multiple State of Colorado agencies, and private companies such as Wagner Equipment. #countiesmatter #teamwork
Photo by JoAllen Blowers, Road & Bridge Supervisor

Image may contain: sky, snow, cloud, outdoor and nature
  • Mike Willis It was an absolute privilege to coordinate State and federal efforts through a Unified Coordination Group last spring to help make sure Hinsdale County communities were safe. We’re ready to go again this year if needed!

The Hiker Who Never Left – Backpacker Magazine Article – January 6, 2020

“Just letting you know that the story about Lake City and Lucky was just published by Backpacker yesterday. It’s online here and will also be on print stands through February… The story has had a very positive reaction so far. And please keep me in the loop about Gateway Community status!”
Best,
Chris Walker
Backpacker Magazine

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway & August is Lake City’s History Month 2019

LAKE CITY NEWS   |   AUGUST 2019
The Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway is OPEN! See Colorado’s backcountry like never before on the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway, NOW OPEN and as majestic as ever!The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, a network of four-wheel-drive roads that connect Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton, traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife.If you’ve never driven the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway, what are you waiting for? Now that the snow is cleared away and the landscape is bursting with life, it’s the best time ever to see Colorado’s backcountry like never before.Get started today by picking up a map at the Lake City Visitor Center, located at 800 Gunnison Ave, or visiting LakeCity.com.
LEARN MORE
August is History Month in Lake City
This August, celebrate Lake City’s long and varied history by participating in one—or all—of the events scheduled throughout the month. From musical performances and tours to shoot outs and a Victorian tea, there’s something for everyone. For details, please visit our events calendar.
EVENTS CALENDAR
Schedule of Events
August 1st  
Colorado Day with a String Academy Performance and Pub Crawl

August 2nd  
Pioneer Jubilee Women’s Club Chuckwagon Supper, Western Dance, and Silent Auction
August 3rd   
Volcanoes of Lake City and Stick Horse Show
August 10th
Lake City Old West Shooters Shoot-out

August 20th
Back in Thyme Victoria Tea

August 23rd
Mito de Soto, Spanish American guitarist

August 24th
Lake City Old West Shooters Shoot Out

August 31st
Tour of the Rose Lime Kilm site

August 31st
Lake City Old West Shooters Shoot-out

Tours

Ghost Tours
Ghost tours will be hosted by the Hinsdale County Historical Society on certain Friday nights throughout August. Meet at 8 pm at the Museum. Bring flashlights and a jacket.

Cemetery Tours
Cemetery Tours will be held Tuesday mornings in August at 10:30 am. Meet at the Museum.

Ute Ulay Self-Guided Tour
Self-guided Ute Ulay interpretive brochures offer an insight into historical life.

Before you venture into Lake City’s famous backcountry, we encourage you to check theHinsdale County Website for backcountry road conditions.

Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway OPEN July 16, 2019

LAKE CITY NEWS   |   ALPINE LOOP SCENIC BACKCOUNTRY BYWAY
The Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway is OPEN!
See Colorado’s backcountry like never before on the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway,NOW OPEN and as majestic as ever!

The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, a network of four-wheel-drive roads that connect Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton, traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife.

Along the way, check out the following points of interests in order from Cinnamon Pass to Engineer Pass:

SHERMAN OVERLOOK
Get a bird’s eye view of the once-bustling city that serviced the profitable Black Wonder Mine.

BURROWS PARK
In a space of a few miles, see the historic buildings of at least six towns that once existed here during the height of mining in the San Juans.

AMERICAN BASIN
American Basin, one of the most photographed places in Colorado, is home to a spectacular show of wildflowers.

ANIMAS FORKS
This old mining town has a number of well-preserved buildings and serves as a junction for several four-wheel-drive roads.

What are you waiting for? 
If you’ve never driven the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway, what are you waiting for? Now that the snow is cleared away and the landscape is bursting with life, it’s the best time ever to see Colorado’s backcountry like never before.

Get started today by picking up a map at the Lake City Visitor Center, located at 800 Gunnison Ave or visiting LakeCity.com.

Before you venture into Lake City’s famous backcountry, we encourage you to check the Hinsdale County Website for backcountry road conditions.

Hinsdale County UCG Flood Risk Update June 15, 2019

Hinsdale County and the Town of Lake City faced many challenges while responding to the threat of flooding resulting from abundant snowpack and unprecedented avalanche activity along the Henson Creek and Lake Fork river. Working together, and with the support of the State of Colorado, Bureau of Land Management, National Resource and Conservation Services, and other organizations, Hinsdale County and the Town of Lake City have accomplished a great deal in a short time. The following is a brief sample of their many accomplishments.

Heavy equipment was brought in to remove debris and haul it out of the area to reduce the risk of debris flows. The amount of debris and the corresponding threat has been dramatically reduced.

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources was tasked with evaluating dam safety. With local partners, they determined that the Ute-Ulay dam did not pose a significant risk. However, the Hidden Treasure dam had the potential to become blocked, hold water, and then fail, creating a substantial debris flow. It was recommended that the dam be removed. Contractors began deconstruction, but as the work progressed it was determined that the risk to the community could be mitigated while preserving a portion of the historic Hidden Treasure dam for future generations.

Colorado Department of Transportation evaluated bridges in the affected area. Heavy equipment has been and will continue to be used to remove debris and prevent them from collecting at bridges.

The Town and County devised a public warning system using automated cell phone and landline notifications, and door to door notification by governmental personnel. A warning siren with voice messaging capability has been installed in the Town of Lake City, and a second warning siren will soon be erected to supplement the system.

Over the course of the last six weeks preparedness plans have been developed from the community. Representatives from the Town, County, State and supporting agencies met on June 14, 2019, for a plan rehearsal. Participants ran through a mock exercise to test the alert and warning, evacuation, and re-entry plans. They then provided input. This information will be incorporated into the document.

Critical facilities in Lake City were identified, and the Army Corps of Engineers and others worked to develop plans to protect facilities necessary for the operation of the town, as well as buildings with historical significance. Based on the advice of engineers, an earthen berm was improved along the north bank of the Henson Creek. A second berm made from large sandbags weighing as much as 4 thousand pounds each was constructed south of the Henson Creek to divert flood waters away from homes and businesses. Large sandbags were also used to protect structures between the berms on the south side of Henson Creek. Moreover, approximately 25,000 individual sandbags were filled and distributed throughout the community to homes and businesses.

With these mitigations in place, the threat to Hinsdale County and Lake City is significantly reduced. The Unified Coordination Group sent to assist with the preparedness effort has stood down. Remaining mitigation work will be overseen by local recourses.

Although not anticipated, State of Colorado and emergency management partners stand ready to respond if Hinsdale County needs assistance in the future.

Above was taken from email sent on June 15, 2019 from the Public Information Officer, Michael Davis.

Emergency Flooding Information for Lake City

May 28, 2019
This is regarding the Emergency Status Updates for the possibility of Flooding in Lake City.
The best way to keep informed with the most accurate and up-to-date information are the following:
  1. Sign up for the CodeRed App on your phone.
  2. Can call the Public Information number at 970-648-4118.
  3. Check the www.facebook.com/hinsdalecountycolorado page for daily updates. (You do NOT have to have a facebook account.)
  4. Check the Hinsdale County Website at www.hinsdalecountycolorado.us
We currently have multiple local and state agencies assisting with preparations and they are doing an amazing job.
Please keep yourself informed with accurate information.

Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management Update May 7, 2019

This morning, the Hinsdale County Board of Commissioners ratified a local disaster declaration due to post avalanche events impacting some of our waterways. Avalanche activity combined with annual runoff has caused debris blockage.

Yesterday, Governor Polis verbally authorized an executive order for a state of emergency that enables the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center to provide planning support and staffing for a multi-agency coordination group as Hinsdale County lessens the severity of post-avalanche impacts.

The Hinsdale County Road & Bridge crew has cleared one lane to Capitol City.  However, the narrow makeup of the canyon in the Klondike slide area the river, road and snowmelt has caused a buildup of debris.   Local, regional, and state representatives are visiting the site today to determine next steps to avoid the road washing out.   Currently, the gate above Snowden’s Meadow remains closed to vehicular traffic.

Join Hinsdale County and the Town of Lake City for a public briefing at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 8th, at the Armory.    The audio of the briefing will be posted on-line and the event may occur on Facebook Live, if capabilities allow.

Follow Hinsdale County Facebook page or website for updates.

Sign up for Code Red Alerts on the Hinsdale County website.   If you need assistance signing up, please visit the Silver Thread Public Health District.

Klondike Slide and County Road 20

Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management Update April 8, 2019

Monday April 8 – Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Office has lifted the closure order – at least to foot traffic – on County Road 20 beyond the ATV staging area. The Road & Bridge Department will continue to work to clear debris in this area.

Visitors travel at their own risk and are encouraged to remain aware of surroundings and hazards typical of a high-snow year.

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