Residents should have say in Dam Road decision |

Residents should have say in Dam Road decision

In response to a news piece that discussed the fact that the Dillon Dam’s security guard was using a bull horn to keep boaters from approaching the dam, I wrote a letter to the editor of this news paper (Daily Mail, June 10). I said that until Denver Water placed search lights and antiaircraft artillery on the dam I would no longer frequent the Silverthorne outlet stores or use I-70. I was only kidding.

Needless to say that when I heard of the recent decision to permanently close the road, I felt somewhat responsible (not really). In my opinion this decision is one more example of the over-reaction that our government has taken in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. That is not to say that being prudent and vigilant is not a good idea.

Many decisions that we make in the course of our individual lives require a risk/benefit analysis; should we let our teenage kids drive when there is snow on the roads, should we ski in close proximity to trees, should we bike down mountain passes at 40 miles per hour etc.

Penfield Tate, the Denver Water Board Commissioner, said in his justification for closing the Dam road, “We understand that the closure will inconvenience motorists in Summit County. However we have concluded that the grave danger presented by a dam failure outweighs the disruption to travelers.”

We can certainly list a myriad of benefits that the dam road provide, to name a few: Easier access between Dillon, Keystone, Frisco and Breckenridge; saving time and fuel; good for the economic viability of the those towns; provides emergency access across the county; allows residents of the County as well as tourists the ability to enjoy one of the most beautiful vistas in the state; and reduces traffic on Swan Mountain Road.

What is the true nature of this “grave danger” and what is the probability of it occurring? Let those of us who might really be affected by a failure of the Dam, particularly the residents of Silverthorne, take part in the decision making process. Let us take part in the risk/benefit analysis.

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