BOULDER — Next week, supporters of Rollins Pass could make strides in opening the historic mountain road once again.
After reviewing a proposal by Grand and Gilpin Counties to repair and re-open the Needles Eye Tunnel, Boulder County commissioners will take public comment on allowing vehicular traffic to link Colorado Highway 119 to U.S. Highway 40 for the first time in nearly 15 years.
Needles Eye Tunnel is located on the Rollins Pass leg, winding through Boulder County. Portions of Rollins Pass, sometimes called Corona Pass, running through Gilpin and Grand counties remain open to high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles, but the small tunnel has remained a roadblock since a falling rock injured a traveler in 1990. After a $85,000 lawsuit, Boulder County officials had the Needles Eye closed.
The proposal submitted by Grand and Gilpin commissioners recommends forming a tunnel authority to assume liability and risk, outlines methods of funding the road and tunnel repairs and offers suggestions for environmental preservation along the road, which winds along the boundary of James Peak Wilderness.
Boulder County Commissioners will take public comment regarding the proposal from Boulder County residents at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Boulder County Courthouse.