Dam Road closure a county wake-up call
The prospect of permanent closure of this vital road link comes as a shock to all but let’s face it: How far behind are we already with transportation infrastructure here? We’re not even near to completing four lanes to the County Seat and the busiest ski resort by visitation in the country.
Is it folly by the Denver Water Board not to have banned large speedboats which, if fully “loaded” and at ramming speed perpendicular to the dam face would probably be more effective than any car bomb up top?
Who hasn’t seen the World War II documentary on how we finally figured out how to breech German dams? Vertical drops from bombers at altitude didn’t work. A car bomb on the dam probably wouldn’t either. How carefully has the DWB anticipated the scope and effectveness of possible threats? We can still operate large speedboats on the reservoir, right?
Nevertheless if we residents project that this perhaps not fully reasoned paranoia by the DWB causing the road closure will persist, then it’s time to evaluate options for mitigation:
1: The DWB needs to construct emergency high capacity reservoir drawdown capability to deal with any top breech. This would likely save the dam face from eroding and downstream assets from serious flooding;
2: The DWB need to reopen the road to cars and light trucks which, even if “fully loaded,” could not realistically compromise the dam structure;
3: For protection, the DWB needs to schedule replacing the dam roadbed with heavily-reinforced concrete;
4: CDOT and the County needs to build an I-70 frontage road from the lowest switchback of Wildernest (Ryan Gulch) Road to the Mile 203 interchange at Frisco (this is long overdue anyway), and or;
5: From the same switchback, a road could cross over I-70 and extend a half-mile to meet with the Dam Road off the west end of the structure.
Before closure of the Dam Road, the County already has many transportation shortcomings and chokepoints. We need to deal with the entire sorry situation, Dam Road open or not. Our vital tourist revenues and quality of life are at stake.
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