Gypsum Council approves I-70 interchange study
On Tuesday, Gypsum Town Council gave a green light to spend $35,000 on a study to identify ways to improve the visual appeal of the town’s Interstate 70 interchange.
Council member Tim McMichael abstained and council members Dick Mayne and Beric Christiansen were absent for the vote. However, Mayne and Christiansen were supportive of the idea when McMichael broached the topic of the town’s aesthetics at the previous council meeting Aug. 13.
On Aug. 13, McMichael said the town’s appearance from I-70 does not encourage people to get off the freeway and visit the town, which in turn deters commercial developers from Gypsum.
“You’re going to see a major redo in Eagle over the next two years,” he said. “When you talk about the two communities competing for sales tax, it’s going to put us behind the eight ball. If we really want to do something, it’s going to take a company that can deal with the Colorado Department of Transportation.”
He suggested the town hear a proposal from Design Workshop, which was presented Tuesday. Design Workshop recently created a series of signs for the town that were designed to solidify a brand image for the town and be more visually appealing.
When asked how much it might cost to spruce up the interchange, Suzanne Jackson of Design Workshop said she couldn’t give an accurate estimate until studies were complete.
“I’m reluctant to give numbers because I want to measure the areas first,” she said.
In the Aug. 13 conversation, McMichael said the interchange is just the tip of the ice berg for what he would like to see improved in Gypsum.
“This is a project I would like to carry through all the way into town and it would probably take 10 or 12 years to complete,” he said. “We have to do something to get cars off the highway – that’s key to attracting development.”
Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll said the interchange project might take five to seven years of saving before it can start.
“And the permitting with CDOT would likely take about two years anyway,” he said.