Clear Creek wants help from Summit on contesting huge widening of I-70 |

Clear Creek wants help from Summit on contesting huge widening of I-70

Cindy Neely, volunteer coordinator, I-70 Task Force

The Clear Creek County Interstate 70 Task Force would like to comment on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s controversial Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement currently in process.

The highway options left on the table directly and physically affect only Clear Creek County.

Both options require a complete six-laning of the interstate from one end of Clear Creek County to the other: Floyd Hill to the Eisenhower Tunnel.

One option is standard widening with a new lane on each side, the other is making a new reversible two-lane highway alongside the present one.

What is even more difficult is that the transit under most serious consideration is a bus guideway, which in physical terms puts an additional two lanes on the ground in Clear Creek.

Again, this is only in Clear Creek. The bus transit stops in Silverthorne. Transit is being considered in combination with the highway widening.

Thus, eight, yes eight regular 12-foot lanes plus two 8-foot exterior shoulders with 2-foot paved ditches and two 4-foot interior shoulders would be constructed throughout Clear Creek County.

The interstate, which now has a minimum of 76 feet of paved surface – two lanes and two shoulders each direction – would have a minimum of 124 feet of paved surface.

In areas that require acceleration and deceleration lanes, such as the weigh station, the interstate would actually be 10 lanes wide.

The paved ditches also expand to as much as 11 feet wide from Herman’s Gulch to the Eisenhower Tunnel creating pavement in excess of 142 feet wide.

In Idaho Springs, three lanes would be put on a structure that would run the length of the town.

Summit County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom’s description of that structure as “butt ugly,” simply calls a spade a spade.

As you know, I- 70 bisects our communities of Idaho Springs, Dumont/Lawson, Georgetown and Silver Plume.

We sincerely hope no mountain community would endorse the pavement fate proposed for Clear Creek.

Clear Creek has requested a focusing of the limited highway dollars on the pinch points in Clear Creek, namely the Twin Tunnel-Floyd Hill area with its potential gaming connections, and the I-70-U.S. 40 interchange.

The counties of Clear Creek, Summit and Eagle voted to test a high-speed monorail. The task force endorses high-speed elevated transit that looks to the future and meets the needs of all the corridor counties.

We look to Summit County residents to support a solution that provides access to our residents and visitors without destroying the very reason we are here.

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