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Noise wall to go up next summer

SUMMIT COUNTY – The long-awaited Dillon Valley noise wall project is now being advertised for contractor bids, according to Colorado Department of Transportation engineer Inessa Zisman.

“Construction will start, weather permitting, in May,” Zisman said, adding that the project is planned for completion in one season.

CDOT first promised it would build the noise wall in 1997. That promise followed a CDOT-financed study that showed noise levels in the area were perilously close to exceeding federal guidelines. State highway officials said the entire barrier would be completed in five years. Since then, CDOT workers have built a dirt barrier along one section of the valley.



Construction of a concrete noise wall was scheduled for 2001, but state highway officials then said funding cuts prevented them from moving forward.

Last June, a CDOT spokesman said budget constraints again threatened the project, but county commissioners said the noise wall topped their transportation priority list, agreeing it should move ahead of other projects, such as building park-and-ride lots.



Now, it appears the project is a go.

“I’m delighted, but I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Francis Winston, fire chief for Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and a 16-year Dillon Valley resident.

The concrete berm will run from the lower chain-up station along Little Beaver Trail to the last building in the Dillon Valley East condominium complex. It will extend for 1,100 feet to connect to the dirt berm, then run for another 3,500 feet beyond the berm. The concrete portion will stand 10 to 12 feet high, with a jagged top designed to look like mountain peaks.

Dillon Valley residents helped choose the design and color of the wall, Zisman said.

For his part, Winston said he believes the wall will dramatically reduce noise levels at his Straight Creek Drive home.

“I’ll still hear the trucks with the unmufflered jake brakes,” he said. “But I think it will have a significant impact on the tire noise. If somebody comes to my house on any given day, they can’t talk because of the traffic going by.

“I just hope it makes it more livable. Yeah, I bought next to the interstate, but when I bought that house, nobody ever envisioned the volume of traffic that’s there now.”

Kathy Bowles, a 27-year resident of Arrowhead Circle in Dillon Valley, said she’s relieved to hear the project is out for bid.

“They promised us (it would be up) by this fall, but May would be wonderful,” she said. “I’ve been very upset (over the delays).

“If we just walk out on our deck, it’s very noticeable. Everybody in the neighborhood complains about it.”

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at jreuter@summitdaily.com


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