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There's no news too small for the Home Page column. Contact Pam Boyd at pboyd@eagle valley enterprise or call 970-328-6656 ext. 4

Eagle Roundabout Construction Shut Down For Winter

On Friday, Dec. 20, the Eagle Interstate 70 roundabout project to upgrade the interchange and portions of Eby Creek Road will be suspended for the winter, leaving motorists and the community with fully functional roundabouts on Eby Creek Road and the I-70 eastbound and westbound ramps prior to ski season.

According to Colorado Department of Transportation resident engineer Martha Miller, the joint effort between CDOT and the town of Eagle will improve traffic safety and mobility at the interchanges, including the interstate on- and off-ramps, while helping to minimize congestion.

"Our goal was to have two fully functional roundabouts by Thanksgiving, and we accomplished that three weeks ahead of schedule," Miller said. "This success can be attributed to the strong teamwork and collaboration between Flatiron Constructors, the town of Eagle and our CDOT project crews."

Other work that has been completed includes reconstruction of Eby Creek Road from Chambers Avenue to I-70 as well as a new storm drainage system, installation of underground utilities, permanent lighting and concrete paving. Crews have also constructed the foundation for a bridge that will provide pedestrian access over I-70.

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Following the Dec. 20 shutdown, the public can expect little to no impact to traffic until late February 2014, weather permitting. Some minor construction activity will be ongoing, outside of traffic, as crews prepare the work zone for the two-month suspension.

When construction resumes in late February, crews will work to complete the pedestrian bridge over I-70, construct roundabouts at Chambers Avenue and Market Street, and complete reconstruction of Eby Creek Road, including installation of new underground utilities, from Chambers Avenue to U.S. Highway 6.

CDOT, the town of Eagle and contractor Flatiron Constructors Inc., have made a concerted effort to minimize construction impacts throughout.

"We've greatly appreciated the community's patience throughout this first construction season," Miller said.

Eagle River Preserve vehicle access closed for winter

The Eagle River Preserve (ERP) is now closed to vehicles for the season to allow wildlife to utilize the area as a winter habitat.

The property is still open for recreational and pedestrian use, and a new parking area has been constructed at the top of the Highway 6 entrance, outside of the gate.

Officials are reminding all ERP users not to disturb wildlife such as deer and elk they may encounter in the preserve. Dogs must be kept on a leash while on the property, with the exception of the off-leash area in the northeast corner of the property. However, pet owners are asked to keep dogs on a leash in all areas of the preserve if wildlife is present.

The lower parking area of the ERP will reopen to vehicles in the spring after the snow melts and a walk-through has been performed to assure public safety. For more information, contact Eagle County Open Space Director Toby Sprunk at 970-328-8698.

TIPS Training

Colorado Mountain College has scheduled four sessions of the TIPS training course, a renowned program for people employed in the alcohol service trade.

Sessions are scheduled Jan. 21 from 12 to 4 p.m., Feb. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and March 18 from noon to 4 p.m.

The course covers strategies for responsible alcohol service, including prevention of intoxication, underage drinking and drunk driving. A TIPS certification is valid for four years.

For more information, call 970-569-2933 or visit http://www.coloradomtn.edu.

Advice for travel with pets this holiday season

With arrival of the holidays and wintry weather, many pet owners are thinking about seasonal issues, including traveling with pets and how to avoid health problems related to cold weather. Here is some advice that might help.

If a furry friend will be traveling with you during the holidays, it's important to consider pet health, travel arrangements and pet needs away from home.

Is your pet healthy enough? Does your pet seem stressed by hustle and bustle or long hours confined to small spaces? Does it suffer from an illness or injury that could worsen with travel? Traveling with your furry friend can be wonderful but can turn unpleasant if a holiday trip becomes stressful for you, your pet, or your hosts. Before departing, be sure to consider your pet's temperament, your temperament and the preferences of your hosts regarding pet guests.

It is always a good idea to have your pet examined by a veterinarian prior to leaving. Your veterinarian can help determine that your pet is free of disease and healthy enough for travel. Whether you are traveling by car or plane, a health certificate signed by a veterinarian is recommended.

If you are traveling by car, consider where you will stay while on the road. When planning lodging, you will want to identify in advance places that are "pet-friendly." Also plan to take frequent potty and exercise breaks if you will be in the car for long periods.

Make sure you restrain your pet properly in the car and at your destination. Loose pets create a hazard for the vehicle driver and for others on the road. Cats should always be confined to a carrier in a car. Remember when you arrive pets left unattended in strange places can become stressed and destructive.

Make sure to pack plenty of your pet's regular food and water, food and water bowls, pet medications and medical records (which might be needed unexpectedly), a pet first aid kit, a crate or carrier to keep your pet confined when it is unsupervised, proper identification tags with current contact information (including cell phone numbers), favorite toy or chew toys to help keep your pet occupied, and a familiar blanket or pet bed to help your pet feel safe a comfortable.

If you are traveling by plane, always check in advance with your airline to meet requirements. Most airlines will require a health certificate before travel. You will also want to consider the size of your pet to find the appropriate carrier and to understand what the airline will allow. Familiarize your pet to being in the carrier before loading on a plane.

International travel may be more intense. Some places will require a quarantine period and specific series of vaccinations and micro-chipping. More information on the requirements for international travel can be found at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/pet_travel/pet_travel.shtml.