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February 26, 2013
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Frisco turns to Internet outreach ahead of I-70 work

FRISCO - Ahead of a construction season that will likely cause headaches for Interstate 70 travelers, particularly on the weekends, the town of Frisco launched a new webpage to ensure visitors are informed and prepared for the upcoming roadwork.

"We are trying to make your vacation smooth and safe the whole way through," said Frisco spokeswoman Suzanne Lifgren. "Our goal is honestly just to (help you) spend more time in Summit County and less time on the road."

The webpage, a no-cost addition to Frisco's website, is intended to help drivers avoid the worst traffic impacts of a road-widening project on I-70 at the Twin Tunnels that will shutter the highway in the eastbound direction and cause periodic stops for westbound drivers.

The webpage provides a summary of the project, links to the Colorado Department of Transportation's new update website for the project and, officials hope, regular alerts regarding blasting schedules.

Blasting will require full traffic stops in both directions but generally will be planned with very little notice.

Frisco staffers will also use social media to put out traffic updates.

The widening project will expand the two-lane eastbound side of I-70 at the tunnels located roughly 40 miles east of Frisco. The purpose of the project is to alleviate a choke point for the heavy traffic that frequently backs up on the highway on weekends during peak summer and winter travel times.

But before improving the situation, crews will have to make it worse, closing eastbound lanes from April to October to allow for the work, and rerouting traffic over an improved frontage road.

Frisco's online information push coincides with a massive CDOT public outreach effort to keep drivers and business owners in the mountains informed of what's happening on the highway.

"It's one of those projects that we know is going to impact traffic," CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said. "Anything we can do to minimize that pain and be very clear that the highway is open, and Summit County and the mountain communities are open for business, that's the goal."

Frisco officials are also hoping to partner with businesses, including lodging, restaurants and bus and shuttle companies that provide transport between Denver and the mountains to provide opportunities and incentives for visitors to avoid the traffic.

"We'll try to figure out if the merchant community is into that," Lifgren said.

The webpage will be a pivotal tool ahead of Frisco's headline summer events, including the Frisco Barbecue Challenge and the Fourth of July festivities in helping visitors plan for the trip.

"We are very reliant on people having a very enjoyable vacation," Lifgren said.

The new webpage is located under the "Plan Your Trip" tab at the top of the town of Frisco's homepage, and then under "Getting There."


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The Summit Daily Updated Feb 27, 2013 05:56PM Published Feb 26, 2013 10:19PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.