Summit Up 3-24-13: How about a tunnel?
Ryan Summerlin March 24, 2013
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that chains weren’t required on the truck as we made the drive over Hoosier Pass this morning.
Which got us thinking, aren’t chains a little outdated as automotive technology goes? Seriously, these days you can get cars with back-up cameras, or stereo speakers that pop up from the dashboard, or leather-lined wooden drawers for your iPod, or a built-in rear-seat cooler for your champagne.
And we’re still fooling with tire chains?
Here’s the deal. It’s time for a tunnel from Summit County to Park County. That’s right, no more chains, no more slippy winter driving up and over Hoosier; just smooth sailing through a sleek modern tunnel.
Look how well things have worked for Loveland Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel, which turned 40 years old earlier this month. ” Within five months of the tunnel opening, more than 1 million vehicles had passed through,” according to CDOT. Now, we admit there might not be that many people using a Summit-Park tunnel, at least not until word got out. But there are more people than you might think who live in Alma and drive to work in Summit every day. They’d love it, we can assure you.
To save money, we could follow one of the transmountain water diversion tunnels. (We don’t think Colorado Springs water users would mind.) Drivers would enter the tunnel somewhere around Northstar Village on the Summit side and pop out at Montgomery Reservoir on the Park side. It’d be like riding a superflume.
Consider the goodwill factor. “The Eisenhower Tunnel ushered in a new era of accessibility between the two sides of Colorado and changed the way we perceive Colorado, uniting the east and west slopes with a new spirit of common purpose,” CDOT said.
Let’s bring that kind of togetherness to Summit and Park. This could rewrite county relations, forever changing the way “the two sides” perceive each other. But if nothing else, it could drastically cut the time it takes Summit drivers to get to Al-Mart for tasty snacks.