The National Park Service (NPS) has released for public review and comment on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Fall River Entrance Improvements in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Fall River Entrance is one of two major entrance stations on the east side of the park and is located on U.S. Highway 34, just inside the park boundary. The entrance station was constructed in the 1960s as part of the NPS Mission 66 Program enhancements and is within the Fall River Entrance Historic District. The main access road, Fall River Road (U.S. Highway 34), contributes to the historic district and is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Originally designed for summer operations nearly 60 years ago, the facilities at the Fall River Entrance Station no longer meet the safety or operational needs of the park. When the entrance station was designed, the park had approximately one and a half million annual visitors. By 2017, annual visitation had almost tripled, to nearly four and a half million annual visitors. Improvements are needed to improve visitor access and convenience, reduce traffic congestion and provide a safe and efficient space for park employees. The range of alternatives evaluated in the Environmental Assessment includes a no-action alternative and three action alternatives.
Rocky Mountain National Park is proposing to retain the Fall River Entrance at its current location and replace the existing buildings with new construction. Entrance improvements would update systems and facilities and include the installation of a fourth lane as a “fast pass lane” to ease congestion. In addition, improvements would be made to employee and visitor parking, ventilation systems in the kiosks, and the configuration of the entrance and exit lanes. Buildings and access ways would be designed to meet federal accessibility standards.
Park staff encourage public participation throughout the planning process. The park will host a public meeting on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Estes Valley Library in the Hondius Room, 335 E. Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park, Colorado. There will be a short presentation at 6:15 p.m. and park staff will be available to answer questions until 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and provide written comments.
The EA will be on public review through the close of business of Friday, July 20. If you wish to comment on this environmental assessment, you may post comments online at: https://parkplanning. nps.gov/romo, the website for the NPS’s Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system. Look for “Fall River Entrance.” Or you can mail or hand deliver comments to Superintendent, Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 U.S. Highway 36, Estes Park, CO 80517.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Although you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments will not be accepted by fax, by e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
If you have questions about the project or would like more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.