Vail to study Simba Run underpass idea
VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Town Council approved an agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation Tuesday to study the feasibility of a Simba Run interchange.
The Simba Run underpass would run perpendicular to Interstate 70 around mile marker 175. The proposed underpass would connect the north and south Frontage Roads and would potentially improve pedestrian and vehicular circulation west of the main Vail exit, according to the agreement.
“The town of Vail will manage the project, will draft the project scope of work and hire a consultant to prepare the study incorporating their dollars as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation’s dollars to fund the project,” the agreement reads. “The main focus of the study should be to identify the transportation problem to be solved and if there are any environmental red flags for the project. The study should obtain traffic and other relevant data that would form the basis for the project purpose and need.”
The $125,000 fee for the town of Vail and its consultant will cover as much of the following as possible, with funds available from the state Department of Transportation and the town of Vail:
• To re-examine the need for the Simba Run underpass by means of a Planning and Environmental Linkage report. The project will re-analyze the alternatives presented in the Vail Transportation Master Plan, as well as produce design, funding, scheduling and phasing recommendations for each alternative.
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• Work with stakeholders to analyze and develop a range of improvements to reduce congestion and improve operational performance and safety of the 173 and 176 interchanges as well as the Frontage Roads. The project will assist the town of Vail and Department of Transportation and resource agencies in identifying issues of importance to each respective agency.
• The town of Vail’s consultant will produce documents and deliverables in a form that can be incorporated by reference as appropriate in subsequent National Environmental Policy Act documents as outlined, linking the transportation planning and NEPA processes.