Quandary: Examining the purpose and timetable for the Iron Springs Alignment | SummitDaily.com

Quandary: Examining the purpose and timetable for the Iron Springs Alignment

Have a question?

Quandary, an old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to any question about life, love and laws in the High Country. Questions? email quandary@summitdaily.com


What is happening with the road and bike path between Frisco and Farmers’ Korner? I am especially concerned about the final layout for the bike path and the timetable for the project.



Well Bill, let me be frank: It’s construction, so your guess is as good as anyone else’s for a timetable. However, according to CDOT the plan is to finish up phase one of the realignment, affectionately known as the Iron Springs Alignment project, by November. Then, after a little winter hibernation, phase two will begin in May 2017, with a nice little bow wrapped around the whole project by December 2017. Obviously, this is the High Country so any of those projections could get blown away in a blizzard, but we might as well keep the optimism, right?

In the meantime, crews will be working from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and will occasionally pull some night shifts. Again the plan — that four-letter word — is to work offline as much as possible so that traffic is least affected, but if you’ve had to make the trip from Frisco to Breck during a peak hour, you probably have the road rage to prove it still can be a pain. It’s not easy to move a highway while people are driving on it, so I suppose you have to forgive a certain amount of inconvenience. When the dust settles and the orange vests go out of fashion, we’ll actually have less road to work with, as Highway 9 is being shortened by 0.4 mile and Leslie’s Curve is getting the boot. While the road may not be as long, it will be wider, as the spiffy new blacktop will include a four-lane reduced section roadway.

What happens to that excess 0.4 miles of newly found land? In a high-stakes do-si-do the bike path will swing around and take the road’s place, increasing the length of the path and the grandness of your adventures. To make sure my wildlife brethren and I can have better adventures as well, a wildlife crossing in the form of an underpass will also be added. The final upgrade for the area will be given to Dickey’s Day Use Parking Lot, which will go west young man, landing in an ideal location with access from the Highway 9 and Recreation Way intersection. It will also get a connector so that the lot can provide bike path and lake access.

So what’s the cost of all this progress? Merely $20.6 million and some frustrations. But these costs will be shared as CDOT communications manager Tracy Trulove explained via email (not bad for a goat, right?), “This project was made possible through a partnership with Summit County, town of Frisco, town of Breckenridge and Vail Resorts under CDOT’s RAMP program (Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships). RAMP created Public-Private partnerships with industries and Public-Public partnerships with local governments to provide responsible improvements on corridors where partnership opportunities existed.” As for the frustrations? We can all share in those.

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