How loud are Edwards roundabouts? | VailDaily.com
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How loud are Edwards roundabouts?

Chris Outcalt
coutcalt@vaildaily.com
Edwards, CO Colorado
Amanda Swanson/Vail Daily$11 million in stimulus funds have been dedicated to build four roundabouts around the freeway intechange in Edwards, Colorado
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EDWARDS, Colorado ” Some local residents have asked the Colorado Department of Transportation to take another look at whether the interchange roundabout projec planned for Edwards, Colorado will make the area noisier.

The transportation department studied noise associated with the project in 2006 when design of the new interchange first started and concluded a noise barrier between the interchange and nearby residents wasn’t necessary. But the work has changed slightly and a group called the Edwards Citizens for Noise Abatement wants the state to revisit the issue.

“We’re excited about (the project) because we think it’s going to help improve the Edwards area, but there’s a tremendous amount of traffic now,” said Steve Lamontagne, who has helped coordinate the citizen group.

Thanks to money from President Obama’s stimulus plan, work could start next year on a new Interstate 70 interchange in Edwards. The $11 million project will include four roundabouts, a highway underpass and 8-foot-wide sidewalks along most of the new roadway.

The noise study the transportation department did in 2006 concluded that I-70, not the interchange area, caused most of the noise and that a barrier to block the sound would cost too much to build.

Lamontagne said the group understands money for the project is limited, but thinks the state still needs to take a second look at the noise associated with it.

“We’re concerned about cost overruns but we’re also concerned about the project being done correctly,” Lamontagne said.

The updated noise study should be completed in July. The biggest change to the project since the study was first conducted is the addition of a fourth roundabout.

“Since there were some concerns and there were some changes to the alignment of the project, we’ll update the study,” said Eagle County engineer Ben Gerdes, who is working on the interchange project. “We’re trying to make sure everything is updated and address some questions.”

Lamontagne is pleased the state decided to look at the area again.

“We’re encouraged by that,” he said. “We feel that when the study is redone it will show that there will need to be some kind of abatement in the project.”

Lowering the speed limit on the highway in that area to 65 mph to decrease noise will also be considered, but isn’t a likely option, said Martha Miller, an engineer with the transportation department.

“We have looked at that before and we promised to keep it on the radar,” she said.

Don Cohen, president of the Berry Creek Metro District, said he’d like to see the project move forward.

“There’s no big belief that the noise will increase,” Cohen said. “It’s not like we’re opening new accesses for traffic.”

The addition of a fourth roundabout shouldn’t have much of an affect on the study, Gerdes said.

“It’s a tight time schedule given the funding source,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re addressing peoples concerns and that there’s no reason the project would be stopped when we’re so close.”

The state hopes to have the project ready to bid by the end of the year.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.


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