“Plans and specifications for the design are being finalized by Central Federal Lands in preparation for releasing those to a short list of potential contractors who will then submit their proposals,” says District Ranger Debbie Cress. The next step will be review of those proposals and selection of a contractor. The contract is expected to be awarded in late June, with the contractor beginning preliminary work in late summer or early fall. “Our goal now is to have the Catwalk reconstructed and reopened before summer of 2016,” Cress noted.
Storms throughout the fall and winter resulted in continued debris and damage along State Highway 174. “We are working with NM Department of Transportation to clear sediment from the highway and low water crossings so the public can access the picnic area and historic CCC trail as they did last summer,” Cress stated. She added that the Gila National Forest will continue to work with contractors during reconstruction to provide opportunities for visitors to use the picnic area and observe work in progress when it is safe to do so. Local business owners have stated their desire to have access provided during major holiday weekends when visitation to the area is high.
Currently, the Catwalk remains closed due to highway damage and debris on the highway according to Forest Order #06-345. The public is encouraged to contact the Glenwood Ranger District office for the latest information on access to the Catwalk area at (575) 539-2481.