County tackles redesign of Spur Road | VailDaily.com
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County tackles redesign of Spur Road

Veronica Whitney
NWS Spur Road BH 4-14 Vail Daily/Bret Hartman Edwards residents have differing views of the county's plans to redesign the Spur Road, which runs from I-70 to Highway 6. Some think the road needs to be expanded while others say there are no problems.
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To Edwards resident George Gregory, Edwards’ central street – known as the Spur Road – is adequate. But another resident, Douglas DeChant, said he likes some of the proposals to redesign the road.

Gregory and DeChant were among residents who attended a town hall-style meeting at the Berry Creek Middle School where several proposals to redesign the road where displayed by county planners.

“Over the past several years the resounding drumbeat from the Edwards community has been ‘Somebody needs to fix the Spur Road,'” said Helen Migchelbrink, Eagle County engineer. “Concerns over the flow of traffic, pedestrian safety and access to businesses and residences have been voiced time and time again.”



At the open house, and as part of the first phase of the project, Eagle County presented four redesign alternatives with several elements common to each: reconstruction of bridges and lane widening. The alternative designs also include combinations of stop lights, roundabouts and different ways to manage access to various businesses and sidestreets.

“None of these alternatives are appropriate because of the cost,” Gregory said. The cost of the alternatives oscillates from $25 to $27 million each.



“A great deal of work has gone into the development of these plans,” he added. “However, in view of the projected costs and the resultant benefit I find none of the alternatives realistic. We already have a new road in Edwards -Miller Ranch Road.”

But Migchelbrink said the redesign of the Spur Road is needed.

“Once we have the final design, I’ll be looking at the funding sources,” Migchelbrink said. “The amount of time you’ll have to wait on the road will get worse and worse with time.”



DeChant said he likes one of the alternatives with roundabouts -at the Miller Ranch Road intersection and the Interstate 70 off ramps. He’d liked to keep the traffic lights at the U.S. Highway 6 intersection.

“I don’t think we want a roundabout in the intersection of the Spur Road and Highway 6 because it would make it hard for pedestrians,” DeChant said.

Cheryl Emmeluth of Edwards said she also likes the alternatives with roundabouts because she envisions sculptures similar to those in Avon.

“We could do a monument to Edwards,” she said. “It could be a beautiful touch.”

Charlotte DeChant, of Singletree, said she prefers traffic lights to roundabouts.

“I don’t think we need roundabouts because Edwards’ traffic pattern isn’t as complicated as Avon’s,” she said. “Also, we don’t have the skier traffic that Avon has. What we could use is an underpass on Highway 6.”

Other residents who attended the open house said instead of fixing the Spur Road they would like to see another connection between I-70 and Highway 6, said Charles Buck an engineering consultant hired by the county.

“Such a connection is on the long-term plan,” Buck said. “But even with it, you still need to improve this road.”

Migchelbrink said the meeting was well attended and it opened up issues she hadn’t though about. “We will collect all comments and go back to our design table and see how to incorporate them,” she said.

Eagle County and the Colorado Department of Transportation are anticipating that the preliminary design and environmental reviews of the Spur Road expansion will be completed by year’s end, paving the way for final design to be completed in 2005.

Under an agreement between the county and the state, Eagle County will fund the preliminary engineering design, while the department of transportation will pay for the environmental analysis.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.


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