Edwards eyes traffic | VailDaily.com

Edwards eyes traffic

Melanie WongVail, CO Colorado

Who they talked to: Eagle County Staff Engineer Ben GerdesWhat they talked about: Traffic studies looking at traffic predictions and improvements needed on Highway 6 through Edwards are outdated, according to county staff.Several major changes in the last few years, including the approval of a mixed-use development at the West End and the purchase of open space at the Eagle River Preserve mean that studies done five years ago are no longer accurate, Gerdes said.The study would cover Highway 6 from Squaw Creek Road to Miller Ranch Road, focusing on alleviating traffic in the main Edwards intersection.However, Edwards metro district members said they wanted to make sure a half-diamond Interstate 70 interchange at Hillcrest Drive is included in the study. The idea of a second Edwards exit has been thrown around as a way to divert traffic from the intersection and ease rush-hour traffic around Lake Creek. This could eliminate much of what needs to be done on Highway 6, said Edwards Metro District Representative Todd Williams. Gerdes talked to the group about funding the study, which would cost an estimated $500,000. The authority said it wanted to check into using impact fees to pay for the study.

What they talked about: Some metro district representatives were worried about the outcome of a county commissioners vote next week on whether or not a developer can build on land marked for open space.The seven acres in question is located behind Edwards Corner and west of the fire station and ambulance district. Developers from Remonov & Co. are asking county commissioners to remove the restrictions. Developers have said they could build dense affordable housing on the land.Several Edwards metro districts have spoken out against removing the restrictions.Williams, representing the Edwards Metro District, said his worry is that allowing developers to build there will set dangerous precedents for the future.Our stance is that we spent $12 million on open space (with Eagle River Preserve), he said. Why would we now almost revert?Tracy Erickson, representing Homestead, said the neighborhood wants to keep it open space.We would like to keep it a buffer between Homestead and the commercial (area), he said.Whats next? County commissioners will consider the developers request next Tuesday.Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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