Mountain towns discuss I-70’s future | PostIndependent.com
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Mountain towns discuss I-70’s future

Post Independent Writer

Towns and counties along the Interstate 70 mountain corridor met Thursday to further plans for creating a preferred alternative to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s I-70 Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.by donna grayPost Independent StaffTowns and counties along the Interstate 70 mountain corridor met Thursday to further plans for creating a preferred alternative to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s I-70 Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.The PEIS is a 20-year plan to alleviate traffic congestion on the highly traveled stretch of highway between Clear Creek County and Glenwood Springs that could include another bore and toll booths at Eisenhower Tunnel, a monorail and six lanes of highway.The I-70 Central Mountain Transportation Corridor Coalition met in conjunction with the Rural Resort Region meeting Thursday in Avon.The coalition was formed this year to come up with a traffic plan that will address the particular traffic issues of each county and town along the corridor.CDOT appears willing to extend the 90-day comment period for the PEIS for another 90 days until June, said Garfield County Commissioner Trési Houpt, who is also a member of the coalition.Houpt said the coalition will enter into a memorandum of agreement with CDOT that will extend the comment period “so we can respond in an informed way and build consensus” among the affected communities and counties.Members of the coalition met with CDOT executive director Tom Norton in Denver in December to ask for about $200,000 to hire a transportation engineer and financial consultant who will help craft a preferred alternative for the PEIS that will address all the concerns of the corridor communities.”I’ve heard CDOT is coming up with something, but it hasn’t been specific,” Houpt said. “It’s important to note that rural areas don’t receive the same amount of transportation funding for analysis and planning as the Front Range.”A series of public meetings are scheduled to begin at the end of January to collect feedback from the 29 communities in the mountain corridor.An interim report will be sent out by the coalition to the communities and counties summarizing the concerns gleaned from its public meetings.Houpt said the coalition hopes to have a preferred alternative crafted by June 10.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.comCDOT will host a public hearing on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s I-70 Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.


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