A look back in time: 50 years ago, Eisenhower Tunnel opens to motorists | SummitDaily.com

A look back in time: 50 years ago, Eisenhower Tunnel opens to motorists

John LaConte
Vail Daily
Crowds gather inside Eisenhower Tunnel to enjoy the official dedication of the 1.7-mile thoroughfare.
Vail Daily archive

10 years ago

March 4, 2013

More than 50 vehicles were tangled up in crashes and Interstate 70 was closed most of the afternoon as a heavy storm moved through the area, the Vail Daily reported.

“After closing I-70 around 1:30 p.m., the Colorado Department of Transportation reopened both lanes in both directions by 5:15 p.m.,” the Vail Daily reported.

20 years ago

March 12, 2003

Middle Creek, Vail’s largest affordable housing project to date, was nearing final approvals, the Vail Daily reported.

The project survived more than 20 months in the review process, a complete redesign and an appeal, the Daily reported.

The $23 million project received an initial approval from the town of Vail’s design review board in early March.

“The design board is the second board to shape the project, which will offer 142 apartments at rents starting at $540 for a studio and topping out at $1,750 for a three-bedroom unit,” the Daily reported. “Funded through nearly $16 million in public subsidies, as well as a 50-year free lease on the land from the town, Middle Creek will include a $1 million child care center to replace ABC and The Learning Tree, as mandated by the town.”

30 years ago

March 5, 1993

The good snow year allowed skiers to explore the slope below Lion’s Head rock formation in Minturn, disturbing elk in the area.

The face, overlooking the town of Minturn, “has collected enough snow this winter to lay down some tracks,” the Vail Trail reported. “Unfortunately, the skiers have inspired the elk that congregate in the area to make some tracks of their own. The elk, which are unaccustomed to sharing the land with skiers, snowboarders and their dogs, have been running down the hill in a panic due to the invasion of their space.”

A cow elk had to be killed after it suffered a broken hip, and “officials have reported seeing the animals entangled in fences and wandering astray near the town, easily falling prey to coyotes, dogs and cars in the area.”

40 years ago

March 7-12, 1983

The American Ski Classic — a celebrity ski challenge turned World Cup event — took place in Vail and Beaver Creek. Opening ceremonies and a torchlight parade took place on Monday, March 7, 1983, followed by a men’s World Cup giant slalom on the International course in Vail on Tuesday. American Phil Mahre won the World Cup race, edging out Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.

A dual slalom “Legends” race took place at Beaver Creek on Wednesday, featuring Stein Eriksen and members of the 1936 U.S. Olympic team. Otto Tschudi won the men’s event and Kiki Cutter won the women’s event.

The “Celebrity Cup” pro-am event took place on Thursday and Friday, with top honors going to Vail local Susie Corrock-Husted’s team, which also included Denver Post publisher Lee Guitar, Hans Oberlohr of Eagle Park Central, Jeff Grout of Manufacturers Hanover Trust, and Bruce Falkenberg of the Spectrum Group. In second place was Leif Grevele’s team, which also included George Gillet, Jack Marshall, Jan Helen and Dave Peterson.

Another World Cup giant slalom, this time featuring the fastest women in the world, closed out the event on Saturday. Americans Tamara McKinney and Cindy Nelson finished first and second in the event.

50 years ago

March 8, 1973

The Eisenhower Tunnel officially opened to motorists looking to avoid U.S. Highway 6 on Loveland Pass.

A dedication took place at the east portal of the tunnel, and the public was invited to attend. A large gathering took place to celebrate the tunnel’s completion, with hundreds of people packing it from wall to wall to listen to an official dedication from Colorado Gov. John Love.

“Even though speeds through the 1.7-mile-long tunnel will be at a relatively slow pace (hopefully) the new route can conceivably cut from 20 to 30 to 40 minutes off the elapsed time from Vail to Denver plus offering a highway without the ‘white knuckle’ road that many have feared,” wrote Vail Trail “Skipper” George Knox.

This story is from VailDaily.com.

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