Mesa Top Loop Roads 3R Project
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the impacts of improving the existing Mesa Top Loop Roads and the intersection at the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. Most of the approximately 600,000 annual visitors travel the Cliff Palace Loop, Mesa Top Loop, and Sun Temple Loop roads, since many of the popular park destinations and points of interest are accessed by these roads.
The EA was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to provide a decision-making framework that analyzes a reasonable range of alternatives to meet project objectives, evaluates potential issues and impacts to park resources and values, and identifies mitigation measures to reduce the degree or extent of these impacts.
Based on public, interagency and Native American tribes' comments and suggestions received during civic engagement conducted in December 2019 and January 2020, the NPS developed a range of alternatives. This EA evaluates three alternatives for improvements to the Loop Roads, describes the environment that would be impacted by the alternatives and assesses the environmental consequences of implementing the alternatives.
Under the no-action alternative, the current management of the roads would continue with no planned improvements to the road or entrance.
Under alternative B, Mesa Top Loop, Cliff Palace Loop, and Sun Temple Loop roads would be rehabilitated. There would also be improved physical accessibility at adjacent overlooks, improved sidewalks and parking areas, additional visitor parking, and replacement of the current Visitor and Research Center intersection.
Under alternative C, which has been identified as the preferred alternative, the same improvements as identified under alternative B would be implemented. In addition, the two-way sections of Mesa Top Loop and Sun Temple Loop roads would be widened to accommodate a bike lane.
Upon conclusion of this EA and decision-making process, one of the alternatives would become the long-term management option for the Mesa Top Loop roads and entrance intersection.
The NPS encourages your review and input on the EA. If you would like to share your thoughts, please click on the "Open for Comment" link found under the PROJECT LINKS column on the left side of this page. Comments must be received by June 19, 2020.
Before individuals include their address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in their comment, they should be aware that their entire comment, including their personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. Individuals may request that the NPS withhold their name and/or address from public disclosure. If individuals wish to do this, they must state this prominently at the beginning of their comment and make such a request by checking the box "keep my contact information private." on the website. The NPS will honor such requests to the extent allowable by law, but individuals should be aware that NPS may still be required to disclose personal identifying information.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Cristy Brown, 970-529-4608