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Glenwood Springs wary of bigger freeway

Bob Berwyn
Daily file photoGlenwood Springs, which links the Front Range to resorts like Aspen and Snowmass, is worried expansion of I-70 could flood the town with traffic its not ready to deal with.
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GRANBY While many towns along the I-70 corridor want to increase the capacity of I-70, Glenwood Springs city council member Dave Merritt says that will have consequences for his town, at the far end of the corridor being studied for potential expansion.”I’m concerned about taking the pressure off,” said Merritt, who is also the chief engineer for the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

More cars on the highway could bring a sudden and uncontrolled surge of growth and increased traffic, like the spluttering spray of water that comes from a garden hose after the kinks are straightened out, he said.”For Glenwood, it’s a balancing act,” Merritt said at this week’s meeting of I-70 counties and towns. The state projects such dramatic increases in traffic on I-70 that proposed expansion won’t make car trips shorter.

Among the big concerns for Glenwood Springs is its position as a connection to the resorts up the Roaring Fork Valley to Aspen, Merritt said. While Pitkin County representatives pointed out that many of Aspen’s guests come by air, Merritt said resort service workers that need to get from I-70 into the Roaring Fork Valley can’t be forgotten.

Any sort of long-range mass transit system must extend as far as Glenwood Springs, and not end at the Eagle County Airport, as is currently under discussion, Merrit said. Vail Colorado


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