Public meeting set for July 25 in Idaho Springs
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As the Colorado Department of Transportation forges ahead with a plan to add a new eastbound bore to the Twin Tunnels along I-70, the agency wants some public comment.
In addition to commenting online, residents and I-70 travelers are invited to a July 25 public meeting in Idaho Springs to get an informational update from CDOT experts and to offer comments in person. The meeting is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Clear Creek County School District Office, 320 State Highway 103.
The Twin Tunnel improvements are the first step in a far-reaching plan to ease congestion and improve safety along the I-70 corridor. With limited funds, CDOT is looking to make changes where they’ll do the most good. The improvements could be done in time for the 2013-2014 ski season.
Along with adding a new tunnel lane, CDOT wants to soften the curves east of the tunnel, making improvements to the bottom of Floyd Hill. The agency is also considering a toll for the new lane during peak travel times, euphemistically called congestion pricing.
“When completed, the proposed improvements would provide immediate benefits for safety and mobility,” said CDOT’s I-70 Mountain Corridor Manager Jim Bemelen. “Average travel time would be reduced by 27 minutes during peak travel periods on weekends. The improvements also could reduce crashes between 20 and 35 percent.”
Copies of the environmental study for the project are available for review at public offices and libraries throughout the I-70 Mountain Corridor and on the project website: www.coloradodot.info/projects/i70twintunnels. The public comment period ends Aug. 4.
The Federal Highway Administration is expected to make a decision in the fall of 2012. If the project is approved, construction would begin in late 2012, and opened to traffic in October 2013.
For those unable to attend the meeting, comments can be submitted via the project website at: www.coloradodot.info/projects/i70twintunnels, or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by regular mail: David Singer, CDOT, 425C Corporate Circle, Golden, CO 80401.