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Local News Briefs

New Rifle Gap State Parkvisitor center openingRIFLE – The new visitor center at Rifle Gap State Park will have an open house from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 15.”We are extremely excited to be in this new building, and we hope everyone can come out and see the new facility,” park manager Aaron Fero said.The visitor center serves as the new park headquarters, with staff offices, interpretive displays, meeting room, rest-room facilities, and a small book store and gift center. Annual park passes for 2005 will be available, and the staff can also register boats, snowmobiles and off-highway vehicles. All items in the bookstore will be discounted 10 percent for the event. The visitor center is on the east end of Rifle Gap State Park, just off State Highway 325, north of Rifle. The new facility is only part of a multimillion-dollar cost-sharing project between the Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado State Parks. For additional information, call the park office at 970-625-1607.I-70 traffic changes todayAll traffic on I-70 will be switched onto the eastbound lanes today, with a single lane in each direction, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through early February. While traffic is on the eastbound lanes, wide loads will be restricted to 8.5 feet wide and 100 feet long at all times. Oversized loads will pull over to a staging area at each end for an escort through the work site. Remaining work on the westbound lanes will include removal and repair of damaged retaining walls, pavement and embankment material. Oversized loads will pull over to a staging area at each end and be escorted by a CDOT vehicle through the work site twice a day at specific times only. Westbound wide loads will be escorted through the work site at 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Eastbound wide loads will be escorted at 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. These are the only times CDOT will allow wide loads through the site, so truckers are urged to coordinate travel plans with these times in order to minimize wait time, officials said.The staging areas are located: westbound near the Dotsero exit, by the westbound on ramp at exit 133; and eastbound at the truck parking area at mile marker 108.- staff reports

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