Public Georgetown facility to replace tunnel restrooms |

Public Georgetown facility to replace tunnel restrooms

GEORGETOWN – Travelers who once relied on facilities at the Eisenhower Tunnel for relief have had to forgo their rest stops since those bathrooms closed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but relief is in sight. A new public facility, funded by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the town of Georgetown, is slated for construction this summer and a September opening.

Those facilities will be open 24 hours a day, just as the restrooms at the tunnel were.

The tunnel facilities, which include restrooms and public telephones, were built on the south side of the tunnel for eastbound travelers and the north side for westbound drivers. CDOT opted to close them after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“The tunnel is one of those structures that’s vital for interstate travel,” CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said. “We don’t have cameras in the restrooms, so they cannot be monitored consistently. It was a security issue. We figured it was better to be safe than sorry, so we decided to just close them for the time being.”

Wilson has no idea when the tunnel facilities will re-open to the public.

“I would guess it would be until what we call the war on terrorism is done,” he said. “I’ve heard people say that could be five to 10 years.”

The jointly funded Georgetown facility, which also benefits from some federal funds, will include a rest area and a visitors center to extol the historic virtues of Georgetown. It will be built on the site of what is now an abandoned gas station just off the I-70-Georgetown interchange.

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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