Vail Daily’s View: Eagle County shows some foresight
Vail, CO, Colorado
The Eagle County commissioners don’t get much love. Letter writers, Web commenters and, yes, our own editorial board often find fertile ground in second-guessing the commissioners’ decisions on everything from green building regulations to contracting for a new county logo to, seemingly, what kind of coffee to brew in the lunchroom.
Today is different.
Word came late last week that about $11 million in federal stimulus money would be spent to build new roundabouts at and near the Edwards Interstate 70 interchange. The project will take a year or more, and yes, traffic will be worse during that time. But in the long run, Edwards residents will have a little easier time getting from the interstate to their homes or businesses. (As a side note, the roundabouts will help keep the air a little cleaner because cars emit more pollution when they’re sitting at stoplights than they do on the move.)
The reason this project is being funded while others in the state aren’t is the foresight of the commissioners in 2006. That’s when the board approved spending county money to design the roundabouts.
Even during those flush times, the Colorado Department of Transportation was crying poverty whenever anyone asked for a new project, so the county opened up its checkbook to have the roundabouts “shovel ready” if state money ever became available.
Prospects for any state funding dimmed as the economy slumped, which threatened to leave the project on the shelf for who knows how long. Thanks to a cash infusion from the feds, money’s now available, and it won’t take long ” in government time, anyway ” to put on the finishing touches and send the project out to bid.
We owe the commissioners thanks for a job well done. This time, anyway.