Eagle: Will mall trim traffic?
EAGLE, Colorado ” Eagle River Station’s developers say their project will actually improve traffic flow around town ” a claim project critics scoff.
Alex Ariniello, traffic consultant for the shopping center’s developers, said that a new I-70 interchange leading directly to the mall would initially reduce traffic along Eby Creek Road in central Eagle. Ariniello said a vast majority of the 24,000 cars headed to Eagle River Station will use the new interchange.
Additionally, some Eagle motorists also will choose the new interchange because it will be a quicker route to eastbound I-70, he told the Town Board at hearing last week.
Buts traffic will continue to grow in Eagle and Gypsum grow and the long-term solution is a new interchange west of Eagle, Ariniello said.
Town Engineer Tom Gosiorowski said the interchange will help, but that it should be built long before the first shopper visits Eagle River Station. He said the exit should be open for construction traffic while the mall is being built.
Eagle River Station also will be tapped to help pay for improvements along Chambers Avenue and Eby Creek Road, Gosiorowski said.
Brush Creek resident Annie Egan said common sense dictates a west Eagle interchange is what is really needed to reduce congestion.
“You can’t tell me 24,000 trips won’t generate more traffic problems,” she added.
Marcus Mueller said that even if Eagle River Station shoppers use the east Eagle I-70 interchange, residents of the new housing development will be pouring out on Chambers Road. “The most critical part on Chambers Road is the post office,” he said.
Dave Eckhart questioned whether the study looked at the ever-increasing traffic along I-70 itself. “How much worse is I-70 going to get?” he asked.
“I say don’t sell our souls for an interchange that’s in the wrong place,” added Brush Creek resident Rosie Shearwood.
Eagle River Station supporter Fred Schmidt said the interchange is an important traffic improvement for the town that Eagle can’t afford to build all on its own.
On the subject of open space, Eagle Mayor Ed Woodland keyed in on Eagle River Station’s plan for a 2.8-acre park in the center of the multi-family housing complex.
He said the development has provided an adequate amount of open space according to town standards, “but is it adequate for the number of people who will live there?”
The town board will resume deliberations of the Eagle River Station plan on Aug. 20 with discuss of development impacts, wildlife impacts and the housing plan.