Happy Trails, Mr. Trapani | PostIndependent.com

Happy Trails, Mr. Trapani

Colorado Department of Transportation engineering whiz Ralph Trapani announced this past week he will retire in May.

Trapani worked as CDOT’s lead engineer on three of the state’s most important highway projects: Vail Pass, Glenwood Canyon and Highway 82 from Basalt to Aspen.

He took what he learned on Vail Pass in fitting a four-lane highway into a scenic environment and applied it to Glenwood Canyon, with outstanding results. Trapani expertly managed a stunning highway construction project that is still, 10 years after completion, winning awards.

Since then, he has turned his talents toward Highway 82, where CDOT contractors are building the unbuildable – a four-lane highway through the narrow Snowmass Canyon.

Trapani has also used his respected position to promote alternate transportation projects and bring some common sense into the debate over a highway bypass in Glenwood Springs.

Build more roadways, and they will simply fill up with cars, and the community will be back in the gridlock it was trying to escape, he says. Look now for other ways to move people and goods, he says, before the valley is lost to pavement.

Trapani is leaving CDOT, but he is not leaving Glenwood Springs. We hope to continue to hear his voice on the transportation issues our valley faces.

– Heather McGregor, Managing Editor

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