Tracker: Speedier solutions for Eagle exit sought |

Tracker: Speedier solutions for Eagle exit sought

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

Who they talked to: Eagle mayor Ed Woodland, Town Manager Willy Powell and Board Trustee Yuri Kostick

What they talked about: Everyone agreed that the Eagle I-70 exit is not only a nuisance during rush hour, but the line of stopped cars that spill out onto the interstate shoulder is a serious safety concern.

They discussed adding a right turn lane at the exit ramp and Eby Creek Road to ease the congestion.

It’s a quick, low-cost fix, and the only difficulties would be relocating some utilities in the area, County Commissioner Sara Fisher said.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed out there,” she said. “I’ve come up that stretch during rush time and it scares the hell out of me to have to pull off to the side.”

Eagle officials said they would be willing to work with the county to fund the design and work crews for the project.

The county has already partnered with Eagle to fund studies for future work on Eby Creek Road, but ultimately the towns and county will need to work through the state before anything can be done. However, funding the preliminary plans and designs make it more likely the project will make the Colorado Department of Transportation’s priority list.

All the officials agreed they wanted to speed up any improvement projects and start with smaller ones if necessary.

“All I heard when I was getting elected was, ‘Fix Eby Creek Road,’ Let’s build something there this year,” Kostick said.

What’s next? Getting any construction going will be up to the Department of Transportation, Woodland said, but the county can help speed up the process by talking to state officials and spearheading planning efforts

The update: Eagle County is nearing an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to trade federal land in Eagle for help with the Forest Service’s employee housing needs.

The county wants to build affordable housing on the 5-acre horse pasture off U.S. Highway 6. It hasn’t been decided what the exact trade will be, but the Forest Service has expressed interest in buying some of those affordable homes for employee housing and relocating some of their offices to the fairgrounds.

The price has not yet been decided for the land, but this is the closest the county and Forest Service have come to such an agreement.

“We’ve been working on this for almost a decade,” County Manager Bruce Baumgartner said.

What’s next? The Forest Service hopes to close on the deal by the end of October of this year. County attorneys are reviewing the agreement now.

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