Vail Daily letter: Wrong place for crossing
Eagle, CO Colorado
Regarding the wildlife overpass on top of Vail Pass, Mr. Stephenson, in my opinion, is absolutely right when stating there are sufficient natural wildlife movement corridors under the existing traffice overpasses all along Vail Pass.
The “experts” talk about big game movement during the winter at the top of the pass. Actually, the big game, deer and elk, during the winter are on much lower elevations on south-facing slopes. A much better location for a big game overpass, in my opionion, is near the Dowd Junction area from east to west over I-70, Gore Creek and the bikepath at the location where there is now a very inadequate underpass for big game movement. This would allow game and other animals to move farther west toward lower elevations in the late fall/winter and back east in the spring.
The current proposal is an expensive enviromental feel-good project which will look good in pictures and will undoubtedly win many design awards with the people spending and receiving taxpayer money patting themselves on the back for a job well done. This bridge,however, is at the wrong elevation and wrong location for the wrong reasons.
I would suspect if you take out the lynx reintroduction people and did a survey of the long-time locals in our area knowledgeable of wintertime big-game movement they would back this up.
In an economy with scare public resources we need to be smarter with these kinds of projects if we do them at all.