$63M needed for Vail road improvements | VailDaily.com

$63M needed for Vail road improvements

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Over the next 20 years, Vail’s growth is expected to bring 2,800 car trips through town, requiring an estimated $63 million in road improvements.

Town of Vail and state transportation officials came up with the projections based on expected projects, such as Vail Resort’s planned Ever Vail ski village, West Vail redevelopment and redevelopment of the Lionshead parking structure.

To handle the traffic, Vail’s Frontage Road will probably need more turn lanes and medians, bigger roundabouts, and a new underpass at Simba Run.

Vail’s main roundabout, especially, will probably need expansion and more lanes going under the interstate, said Greg Hall, Vail’s public works director.

The town will also need 1,000 new parking spots in the future to keep parking under control, he said.

The spots would probably come from two different new parking sites, he said, naming new parking at Ever Vail and an underground structure at Ford Park as possible locations.

A new transportation center is also planned for Lionshead to help handle the 900 bus arrivals and departures from the Vail Village transportation center. The town’s free bus system could see double the current use in the future, planners estimate.

Town planners will present their future projections for Vail’s roads and transit at Tuesday’s Vail Town Council meeting.

The improvements to the roads and interchanges would cost about $63 million, based on 2007 construction costs. However, those costs have gone up, and the current cost could be up to 30 percent higher.

The town is looking at different ways they can find the money for the improvements. Some of the cost would be covered by new developments as traffic impact fees, while other funds might come from the state, federal government, real estate transfer taxes, or bonding or refinancing the town debt.

Parking fees year-round might also be a possibility once the Lionshead garage is redeveloped and Ever Vail is built, Hall said.

“If you build a brand new garage, that’s a lot more cost to operate. You can only get so much out of the winter season,” he said.

The charges would cover the cost of maintaining the new garages and providing more bus service.

Hall said the town wants to get started on some of the transportation projects and will probably start studying the cost and details of a Simba Run underpass, roundabout improvements and Ford Park parking within the year.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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