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I-70 in Colorado: Mountain Corridor Upgrades

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SpudMuffin:
Get this:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_23791631/tolling-likely-part-any-revamp-i-70-colorados

The Denver Post reports that a panel suggests toll lanes built in the median of I-70 between C-470 and Silverthorne are likely part of any future improvement project. From the article: "The initial phase of the "Parsons Plan" calls for building a reversible express tollway, two or three lanes wide, stretching about 53 miles between C-470 and Silverthorne. General purpose lanes on I-70 also would be reconstructed." And also... "Parsons also says it will add bores at the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel and at the Twin Tunnels at Idaho Springs." All this would come at a price tag of $3.5 billion. CDOT will assess the plan in the near future for economic feasibility.

Sure sounds like one helluva project, especially considering the terrain.

brad2971:

--- Quote from: SpudMuffin on August 06, 2013, 02:20:23 PM ---Get this:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_23791631/tolling-likely-part-any-revamp-i-70-colorados

The Denver Post reports that a panel suggests toll lanes built in the median of I-70 between C-470 and Silverthorne are likely part of any future improvement project. From the article: "The initial phase of the "Parsons Plan" calls for building a reversible express tollway, two or three lanes wide, stretching about 53 miles between C-470 and Silverthorne. General purpose lanes on I-70 also would be reconstructed." And also... "Parsons also says it will add bores at the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel and at the Twin Tunnels at Idaho Springs." All this would come at a price tag of $3.5 billion. CDOT will assess the plan in the near future for economic feasibility.

Sure sounds like one helluva project, especially considering the terrain.

--- End quote ---

It says quite a bit about how desperate for work the Parsons Brinckerhoffs of this economy are that they would present, on their own volition, a plan that would likely financially bankrupt them if implemented. I feel quite confident that there is no economic way that toll lanes on I-70 through the divide are feasible on their own. Especially when one considers that the biggest peak hours on that Interstate are:

1. Friday afternoons from Dec-Mar, and June-Labor Day weekend.
2. Sunday afternoons during those same months.

No, the mainline lanes of I-70 from C-470 to at least the Vail Valley have to be tolled for such a project to even come close to making its capital costs.

Henry:
As this is a state that's notorious for its mountainous terrain, I wouldn't be surprised if it took a decade or more to complete! Still, it's an interesting project to undertake.

TXtoNJ:
A $3.5 billion pricetag for this project seems extremely optimistic.

Zmapper:
If Parsons can construct the additional lanes with minimal governmental subsidy, it would be fully worth it.

Additionally, a coach transit solution should be evaluated. Right now, many RTD intercity coaches are used during the weekday peak, but otherwise idle. Perhaps after the Friday evening rush, RTD coaches could depart the various metro-area park-n-rides to the mountains, and return on Sunday, in time for the Monday morning rush. RTD already has experience with a similar service to the airport, SkyRide, and should be able to use their knowledge to operate a service to the mountains.

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