I-70 plans will take their toll | SummitDaily.com

I-70 plans will take their toll

A lot of people are getting worked up about futuristic transportation plans for the Interstate 70 corridor.

Expansion to a full six lanes from Floyd Hill to Silverthorne has some people choking on asphalt. Six new bores through the mountains don’t help with the digestion.

Talk of some kind of a guideway bus system or

magnetic-levitated train as mass transit alternatives makes others wonder who’s serving the refreshments at the Colorado Department of Transportation planning meetings.

Of course, a monorail was left out of the mix.

Fact is, it is all fantasy right now because nobody knows from where $9 billion or so can be levitated to pay for any of it, no matter the like or dislike.

This brings up another story, the widening of Highway 9 between Frisco and Breckenridge. Right now, CDOT has that work strung out over the next 20 years after a decision is made on what to do because money is missing from the equation.

In the I-70 corridor, the lurking issue is tolls. Some day, don’t be surprised if it costs $5 or more (we’re just guessing on the amount) to drive between Summit County and Denver, either to pay for new construction or as a tool to tame peak traffic.

The latter point comes under the jargon “traffic demand management.” Expect to hear more of that term and what it means.

One county commissioner was quoted last year as saying tolls on the interstate would be over his dead body. Hopefully, Tom Long has his estate in order.

So this will be an interesting issue to watch, but if you follow the money, we are on a collision course with tolls. That’s how we see it, and we would rather be wrong than right on that view.

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