Summer of construction ahead for Eagle |

Summer of construction ahead for Eagle

Special to the Daily

EAGLE – Regardless of what the weather brings, it’s going to be a long, dusty summer in the Town of Eagle.Eight high-profile construction projects are slated for 2006 and all will involve moving dirt and diverting traffic. “At times this summer is going to be difficult – there’s no doubt about it,” Eagle Town Board member Paul Witt said. But, he said, the town will be trading some short-term difficulty for some tremendous long-term gains.Town officials will explain the projects, and the challenges they will pose to Eagle residents, at a special “State of the Town” presentation Thursday at the Brush Creek Pavilion. The session will begin at 7 p.m. Town officials will be present to answer questions about a variety of projects and issues. A short presentation will be followed by open discussion. The meeting is open to any the public.The most visible construction project will take place when the downtown redevelopment begins. A $3 million renovation is planned that includes new sidewalks, new landscaping, new streetlights and a new drainage system, among other features. The parking also will be redesigned. In addition to the downtown project, the summer of 2006 will see the following construction efforts:

• Sylvan Lake Road roundabout construction Sylvan Lake Road and U.S. Highway 6.• Sylvan Lake Road extension Sylvan Lake Road and Brush Creek Road.• Eagle County Fairgrounds Road water main construction.• Fifth Street drainage improvements – Fifth Street and U.S. Highway 6.• Improvements at Church and Second streets.• Improvements at Church and Hilltop streets.• Eagle Town Park permanent stage construction.”You have to put a shovel in the ground to make things happen,” Witt said. He said the town will try to work with the affected property owners as much as possible to minimize the impacts.

“We believe the end results will be well worth it,” he added.Patty Ferguson, president of the Eagle Wells Fargo Bank, agreed. “All the work should be a good thing in the long run. It will be wonderful to see a new face on downtown Eagle,” she said.In the meantime, Ferguson said the bank and its employees plan to grin and bear it this summer. “One of the things we are planning to participate in is special activities so people will have a reason to come down and see what’s happening,” she said.According to Tim Cochrane of the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce, Broadway merchants plan to use the construction activities as a marketing tool this summer. “We are planning a construction kick-off party on April 29. We ought to have a big hole in the ground by then to celebrate,” said Cochrane. “There’s going to be an on-going effort to urging people to visit downtown – the heart and soul of Eagle. We are open for business.”Beyond the shopping areas in town, residents have greeted road projects with interest. For Eagle Ranch dwellers, the Sylvan Lake Road extension means a more direct route to popular town amenities such as the ice rink and pool. The roundabout project will provide some much-needed traffic control to the busy entrance to Eagle Ranch.And even some of the less glamorous efforts – such as the Church Street water and wastewater projects – are welcome news for the people most affected. Jody Cox, a Church Street resident, noted many of her neighbors have battled sewer issues for years as lines in the area deteriorated. “I’m also really excited bout the work on Church Street between Second and Third streets,” said Cox. “Ever since they connected Church to the roundabout, that street has scared me. People definitely fly down that road.”

==========================================How’s Eagle? What: State of the Town presentationWhen: Thursday, 7 p.m.Where: Brush Creek PavilionFor whom: All community residents are invited to attend.==========================================Vail, Colorado

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