Locals urge six-laning of I-70, Clear Creek wants mass transit
SILVERTHORNE – Eileen Wheelock said she didn’t know whether to cry or yell at Summit County residents about their ideas for a congested Interstate 70.”I’ve heard some things from some Summit County people that really scare me,” the Clear Creek County resident said.She was one of almost a dozen Clear Creek County residents who spoke at a public hearing in Silverthorne Wednesday night regarding the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) preferred alternatives to safety and traffic flow improvements that could be made along the corridor.Clear Creek County constituents have attended almost all the other presentations, urging other county residents to understand the potential ramifications of construction in their narrow valley.While most Summit County residents asked CDOT representatives to proceed with six-laning the interstate and preserve land for a potential future mass transit mode of transportation, Clear Creek folks urged the agency to consider the health, economic and quality of life issues they will be faced with until construction ends in 20 years.”Any child who is born this year is going to be 20 by the time the road improvements are complete,” Wheelock said. “I can’t imagine anyone wants their kids growing up in a cone zone. Corporations can weather a cone zone. We mom-and-pop businesses can’t.”Summit County residents – including Breckenridge Resort Chamber executive director Corry Mihm and town Councilmember J.B. Katz, both speaking on behalf of their organizations – felt otherwise, and urged CDOT to pursue the widening proposal and preserve land for future mass transit.
“We need to keep traffic moving,” said Summit County Commissioner Bob French. “We can build rapid transit when the time comes. For the moment, we need expansion.””On Saturdays and Sundays, I go out and meet our guests,” said Arapahoe Basin’s Alan Henceroth. “It’s common for them to say it took them two, three, four hours to get here. The time to do something is now. “”The ‘do-nothing’ alternative is totally unacceptable,” said Dick Masica of Frisco, who urged CDOT to forge ahead with widening the interstate. “We aren’t going to change the highway culture of America while we’re waiting to get this done.” The public hearing was the ninth of 10 that CDOT scheduled in the nine-county region from Jefferson to Garfield counties to outline the alternatives. Additionally, the public comment period has been extended to May 24.The last public hearing will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 26 at The Vintage Hotel in Winter Park.
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