Letter to the editor: Summit County I-70 exits are stiffed again by CDOT | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Summit County I-70 exits are stiffed again by CDOT

Ken Gansmann

Editor’s note: This letter has been updated to correct the cost of the eastbound toll lane added in 2015.

The Interstate 70 Exit 205 at Dillon/Silverthorne is one of the busiest I-70 exits between Denver and Grand Junction. Exit 203 at Frisco is an accident waiting to happen due to high, westbound traffic backup onto I-70 during our summer and winter seasons. These two I-70 exits are also the winter repositories for stranded vehicles when the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels and Vail Pass close due to heavy snow.

In 2015, CDOT added a $50 million, 13-mile, 11-foot wide eastbound toll lane between Empire (Exit 232) and the Idaho Springs twin tunnels. It permits traffic from Winter Park to easily merge into I-70 there with no traffic lights. However, this 11-foot lane can’t accommodate mass transportation like the Bustang.

CDOT is now completing another $70 million, 13-mile, 11-foot wide westbound toll lane between Idaho Springs to Empire with another 11-foot wide toll lane that again can’t accommodate mass transportation. All this extra lane does is back up traffic from the Eisenhower Tunnel and Winter Park.

CDOT is now spending $140.4 million adding another 12-foot wide lane (they finally learn something) from the top of Vail Pass to the east Vail exit because it has been determined to be environmentally sensitive and will assist in removing stranded accident-involved vehicles there.

Shoshana Lew is a Harvard history graduate and was appointed CDOT executive director by Gov. Jared Polis in 2018. Many feel CDOT could use someone with better credentials than this political appointee.

Do you like our current Exits 203 and 205 traffic? It will not get better until we get the attention of CDOT and our governor (303-866-2471). Call frequently and tell them we need their help here now.

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