Plans for new I-70 interchange in Silverthorne move ahead |

Plans for new I-70 interchange in Silverthorne move ahead

Caddie Nath
summit daily news

FRISCO – Silverthorne may someday see a brand new I-70 interchange – but don’t hold your breath.

Colorado Dept. of Transportation engineers Tuesday presented goals for a $30 million improvement to the I-70, Highway 6 and Highway 9 interchange in a joint meeting with the Summit Board of County Commissioners. Project leaders said the interchange plan will improve local traffic flows on Highways 6 and 9 as well as regional traffic flows on I-70, enhance access to businesses around the interchange and improve safety in the area.

“We’re trying to deliver a very effective interchange,” said Bill Scheuerman, a CDOT engineer and leader on the project.

Goals for the project presented at the meeting included limiting negative business and environmental impacts, identifying opportunities to improve aesthetics and local roads and to involve local stakeholders in the development process.

The project is in the first stage of development. A feasibility study that began in September will determine viable alternatives for the project’s design and will allow individuals and businesses who will be affected by the improvement to participate in the planning process.

“We want to make sure we’re identifying all the potential environmental and community impacts,” Scheuerman said.

Scheuerman said early feedback from the community has been positive.

Project leaders have not yet determined a source of funding for the project. Work on the interchange could be done in phases as money becomes available, Scheuerman said.

“It’s really important in this environment we’re in that we look at funding opportunities to build the interchange over multiple projects,” Scheuerman said. “If we get $30 million in a big chunk and we can throw it all on the interchange, we’re going to do that.”

The I-70 Silverthorne interchange is one of the busier interchanges in the I-70 corridor.

Project planning, which includes representatives from CDOT, the environmental and business communities, Silverthorne, Dillon and the county, also aims to make room for current and future public transit movement through the interchange.

The development phase will continue through December. CDOT will begin evaluating results of the feasibility study and considering alternatives for the project’s execution in the first half of next year.

A completed design for the interchange could be ready by October, 2011, Scheuerman said. When project leadership has a final proposal and funding for the project, plans will have to go through a process to identify environmental impacts as mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act.

SDN reporter Caddie Nath can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or at .

Support Local Journalism