Traffic plan meetings to look at future of region

The Colorado Department of Transportation has asked the Northwest Regional Planning Commission to come up with a long-range regional transportation plan for 2030.

The plan, which will be completed by September 2004, as stated in a newsletter dispersed by URS, the company hired by NWRPC, is to "prepare the plan and oversee the public involvement

process."

"This process occurs once every five years," said Phil Anderson, who works for URS and is coordinating this region's planning efforts.

However, Anderson said, this time the state of Colorado pushed the cycle forward because some of the plans in different regions were not consistent and they want everyone to start from the beginning and work toward developing a consistent plan for regions and the state.

Meetings will be held July 8 and 9 in various locations throughout the northwest planing region. Meetings will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Meeker Town Hall July 8, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grand County Fairgrounds, Kremmling, also on July 8. The last of the meetings will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. July 9 at Olympian Hall, Steamboat Springs. This is the first of three rounds of public meetings that will occur during the development of the long-range plan.

"The issue here is the process identifies projects that are important to communities," Anderson said.

He said this transportation region has shown an unusual degree of consensus regarding projects that need to be worked on.

"It (the region) has been really good at working across county and city lines," Anderson said. "They have picked what I would consider to be the ones that actually need to be worked on."

The northwest planning region consists of locally elected officials from Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties. NWRPC has the authority to adopt the plan once it is finished.

All 14 other transportation regions in Colorado also are updating their long-range regional transportation plans that will eventually be incorporated into CDOT's 2030 plan. CDOT's comprehensive transportation 2030 plan for the state of Colorado should be complete in 2005.

Projects that have been outlined in the last two review cycles as projects that need to be worked on and are either finished or being worked on are:

  • completed $10 million of reconstruction on state Highway 131
  • currently working on reconstruction of shoulders on state Highway 64
  • completed safety improvements over Muddy Pass on U.S. 140
  • completed safety improvements inside of downtown Winter Park
  • currently working on reconstruction on state Highway 13
  • completed Steamboat Springs/Stockbridge transit center

"These are projects that were identified through regional transportation planning, that is why this process is so important," Anderson said, specifying that the projects and the choosing of the projects were identified by local people in regional transportation meetings.

Liz King is an intern with the Craig Daily Press. She can be reached at 824-7031 or eking@craigdailypress.com

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