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U.S. 50 Closure has one Lake City couple rethinking their birth plan

Miguel Garcia and Daniella Robinson of Lake City, Colorado are expecting their first child this summer.
Laura Palmisano
Miguel Garcia and Daniella Robinson of Lake City, Colorado are expecting their first child this summer.

The closure of U.S. 50 between Montrose and Gunnison has one young Lake City couple rethinking their birth plan.

Daniella Robinson and Miguel Garcia are expecting their first child in August but because the highway is shut down they can't easily access Montrose for doctor appointments, family visits, groceries, or birth at the hospital.

“We were planning on delivering in Montrose and then with the road closure, the bridge going to Montrose, that kind puts a stump in the road for us....versus before we could go just to Montrose,” Garcia said.

Being pregnant can be stressful on its own. Missing doctor appointments or being unable to keep your medical provider can also be frustrating.

“I primarily wanted to visit a women's center and the nearest one was in Montrose, very highly rated, and I've loved them so far, ” Robinson said, who's five months pregnant.

She said she likes her current maternity care provider in Montrose.

“They've been a big help, giving me many options. I don't know if they would provide the same thing in Gunnison,” Robinson said.

The road closure affects not only the couple’s plans but their families too. Garcia said he has a tight-knit family that often gets together.

He said most of his family lives in Montrose or Olathe.

"Who knows if anyone of the family could even be there to see the baby,” Garcia said if they have to deliver in Gunnison.

The couple also works full time during the week. Garcia, a local contractor goes unpaid if he misses work. He said they can't afford that and catching the limited windows for travel to Montrose via the Lake City Cutoff is challenging.

“Nothing is open on weekends in the medical world, at least down there,” he said. “So, the only time we would have is during our work hours so we have to miss an entire day work.”

“It hits me pretty hard every time I miss a day of work and I have a baby on the way,” Garcia said.

He said the closure is putting additional pressure on him.

“It puts a lot of stress on me," he said. "That road closure just kind of messes things up.”
Copyright 2024 KVNF - Mountain Grown Community Radio

That story was shared with us via Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of public media stations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico including Aspen Public Radio.

Laura joined KVNF in 2014. She was the news director for two years and now works as a freelance reporter covering Colorado's Western Slope. Before moving to Colorado, Laura worked as a reporter for Arizona Public Media, a public radio and television station in Tucson. She's also worked at public radio station KJZZ and public television station KAET Arizona PBS in Phoenix. Her work has aired on NPR, the BBC, Marketplace, Harvest Public Media, and on stations across the Rocky Mountain Community Radio network. Laura is an award-winning journalist with work recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and RTDNA. In 2015, she was a fellow for the Institute for Justice & Journalism. Her fellowship project, a three-part series on the Karen refugee community in Delta, Colorado, received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. Laura also has experience as a radio host, producer, writer, production assistant, videographer, and video editor. She graduated summa cum laude from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.