Maryann Gaug: Blow up the Twin Tunnels? |

Maryann Gaug: Blow up the Twin Tunnels?

Maryann Gaug

I like Nancy Cook’s idea about Sunday discounts for those who can drive back to the Front Range on Monday morning. I used to do that years ago.

I drove to Denver last Saturday to visit some friends and run errands. I headed home up I-70 around 4 pm. A fair amount of traffic was headed eastbound between Evergreen and Central City Parkway about that time. When I emerged from the tunnel east of Idaho Springs, traffic was crawling all the way to Silver Plume.

For whatever reason(s), traffic slows down at the tunnel east of Idaho Springs, and I-70 becomes a slow-moving mess west of there. I know CDOT has tried many things to make traffic flow at normal speed through that tunnel. After leaving the tunnel, eastbound traffic picks up speed almost immediately. Traffic does not slow down heading westbound at the tunnel – just eastbound.

I’ve often wondered if the big yellow sign with flashing lights warning truckers about tight turns east of the tunnel causes people to slow down. I would love to see what happens at the tunnel if that sign is moved to the east side. If that doesn’t help, maybe there’s a way to straighten out the curves just east of the tunnel.

Some people advocate blowing up that mountain and removing the tunnels. Tom Long used to say that there was concern such demolition would create a wind-tunnel effect for Idaho Springs. Is that a scientific fact?

I think that if the slowdown at the tunnel could be eliminated, traffic might flow better at least in nice weather. Obviously at some point volume creates slowness.

If a zipper lane is used for eastbound traffic, I suggest that all semis and other slow delivery-type trucks use that lane. If nothing else, if non-truck drivers screw up the flow on I-70, they can’t blame the truckers! And if a truck gets stuck, it will only affect other truckers.

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