A four-mile section of Saxon Mountain Road above Georgetown has reopened after county staff and volunteers addressed safety concerns along the road. On July 20, county commissioners approved a …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2020-2021, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
A four-mile section of Saxon Mountain Road above Georgetown has reopened after county staff and volunteers addressed safety concerns along the road.
On July 20, county commissioners approved a two-week closure to give crews time to assemble and improve the road. With confirmation that the road was much safer, commissioners allowed the closure to lapse on Aug. 4.
During the July 20 county commissioners meeting, Sheriff Rick Albers recommended the closure, as he felt an increase in amateur 4x4 drivers and deteriorating road conditions made for a very dangerous situation.
He pointed out that Clear Creek emergency personnel responded to a rollover accident on Saxon Mountain Road in early July, and that there was a fatal accident on the road about 10 years ago.
Albers initially recommended a 90-day closure, but 4x4 community members objected, saying it would effectively end Saxon Mountain's 4x4 season several months early.
Albers and 4x4 community members confirmed much of the deterioration has been there for a while, but Albers emphasized that amateur drivers didn't know how to navigate these tricky spots. Plus, websites about local 4x4 routes describe the road as easy.
At the Aug. 3 county commissioners meeting, county staff members and Mile Hi Jeep Club representatives said they'd taken several measures to improve the situation.
Two problem areas along the road were addressed.
New signs will be installed at the bottom of the road. They will be more descriptive about the road's technical aspects than the previous ones, and remain a general warning that it is for 4x4 use only.
Several 4x4 websites have changed the road's description from “easy” to something more accurate.
The county staff and Mile Hi Jeep Club will draw up an arrangement to ensure the road is maintained properly, relative to its primitive status.
James Kovaly, the county's trail supervisor, described how his team and at least one volunteer from the Mile Hi Jeep Club trekked up Saxon Mountain Road the week of July 26 to tackle two problem areas.
Both involved large boulders in the road. The first boulder was one that drivers had to navigate over at an awkward angle, Kovaly said. Meanwhile, the second required drivers to go around it on the low side of the road, near a steep drop-off.
Kovaly said both boulders were split apart and pieces of them dragged to the lower side of the road to create more room between the pieces.
Road & Bridge Director Karl Schell thanked the Mile Hi Jeep Club for helping county staff assess the road so quickly, saying the work the staff and volunteers did in late July “should satisfy the sheriff's concerns.”
Mark Woodworth, a club member, said he and his fellow volunteers planned to be back on Saxon Mountain Road over the weekend, if not sooner, for additional maintenance projects.
While Albers was not at the Aug. 3 commissioners meeting, Commissioner Randy Wheelock agreed that the crews had addressed the areas that were Albers' greatest concerns. Thus, Wheelock and his colleagues were OK with letting the closure lapse.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.