CDOT to gather technical info on potential advanced guideway system for I-70 mountain corridor
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —As part of a $1.8 million high-speed transit feasibility study, the Colorado Department of Transportation will take a close look at private-sector information on high-speed transit technologies.
The goal is try and determine if there’s a technology to run a high-speed train or some other form of transit from the Front Range to the mountains, and if those technologies can meet specific performance and operational criteria for an I-70 transit system running between C-470 in Jefferson County and the Eagle County Regional Airport.
“This study is making a critical determination about the potential role a high-speed transit system will play in solving the transportation congestion and safety challenges on the I-70 mountain corridor,” said CDOT’s Mark Imhoff,. “The study will collaborate with high-speed transit technology providers and the financial industry to identify feasible technologies, routes, station locations and funding approaches.”
To get some answers, CDOT will issue a formal technology request to solicit information on transit systems. Informal outreach started in June, and more than 150 industry representatives from around the globe have already expressed interest in the project.
If the study finds an Advanced Guideway System in the I-70 Mountain Corridor is feasible, a more detailed environmental study would select a specific technology and alignment for the system before CDOT could begin implementation.
“A possible AGS along I-70 is bringing significant national and international attention, expertise and technology to our state. This is a unique opportunity for Colorado to become a global leader in advancing high-speed transit through sensitive environments and extreme landscapes,” Imhoff said.
Qualified technology providers also will be invited to a Technology Forum this fall, which will give providers the opportunity to present their technologies to the project team, transportation commissioners, corridor stakeholders and interested members of the public.
As part of the study, CDOT also is beginning meetings with local governments along the I-70 Corridor to discuss station locations, local transit connections, land use and development. Unlike local transit services that have stations spaced extremely close together, a 120-mile high-speed transit system would typically have 5-7 stations in order to maximize speed and travel time.
The AGS feasibility study started in April and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013. TYPSA|AZTEC and Jacobs Engineering are the study’s lead consultants. This study is a critical next step identified in the Record of Decision for the I-70 Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.