Craig briefs: Hunter Photo Contest judging open to readers

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The Craig Daily Press Hunter Photo Contest has ended, but the newspaper needs your help judging the photos. Go to the Craig Daily Press’ Facebook page to view the photos. The photo with the most likes by Friday will win the contest and receive a $250 gift card to Murdoch’s. For more information, call 970-875-1790 or 970-875-1788.

Tour of Lights seeks nominations of homes

The Craig Daily Press and Yampa Valley Electric Association are sponsoring the annual Holiday Tour of Lights. You may enter your own home or the home of friends or neighbors that you think really shine with the holiday spirit. First prize is $200, second prize is $100, third prize is $75 and honorable mention is $50. Enter the Tour of Lights contest by emailing submissions to editor@CraigDailyPress.com. For more information, call 970-875-1790 or 970-875-1788. Homes will be judged Thursday.

Eastbound Twin Tunnels open after construction

All lanes have been reopened at Eastbound Twin Tunnels after a nine-month construction project widening the tunnel from two lanes to three. At 5 p.m. Monday, crews began to switch traffic from the detour that has been in place throughout the project to the final configuration through the tunnel. To complete the realignment, crews worked around the clock in order to open the lanes within 72 hours. 

By widening eastbound Interstate 70 through the Twin Tunnels, CDOT will be able to build an Express Lane for eastbound peak periods that uses the shoulder lane. Using the existing wide shoulder from Empire Junction through Idaho Springs, motorists will be able to travel the peak period shoulder lane by paying a toll only during peak travel times. In return, they will have a reliable travel option with consistent speeds that will save motorists an average of 30 minutes in travel time.

The peak period shoulder lane will be constructed and open to traffic in summer 2015.

Although the new lane through the eastbound Twin Tunnel is part of the Express Lane, the fees will be waived until the peak period shoulder lane is complete and open. Meanwhile, motorists can travel the lane for free. For additional information about the peak period shoulder lane, visit the project website at www.coloradodot.info/projects/i-70-eastbound.

The Kraemer-Obayashi Joint Venture is the contractor for the $106 million project. Minor work off the roadway will continue next spring and the tunnel project will be completed in spring 2014.

State Parks and Wildlife offers tips on ice safety

Colorado’s early winter blast has brought freezing temperatures and ice to the state. But despite the chill, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding people that lakes, ponds and streams still may not be ready for winter activity, according to a release.

Here are a few basic safety rules to follow when enjoying winter adventures on the ice. Always assume that unsafe ice conditions may exist and remember ice thickness will vary from place to place and day to day. Four inches of ice generally is considered safe for ice fishing and ice skating. However, OHVs need at least 5 inches of ice thickness. Whenever there is any question about thickness or conditions, the best advice is to stay off the ice. 



Look for signs of unsafe conditions, including ice of different colors, water on top of the ice, cracks, pressure ridges, open water and bubbles in the ice. Also, beware of ice covered with snow. Sometimes the snow serves as insulation, keeping the ice from melting. Other times, the snow has the opposite effect, insulating the surface from freezing. Also be aware that water levels can fluctuate in reservoirs, which can affect ice stability. 



Closure at Emerald Mountain now in effect 

The Bureau of Land Management is reminding people to observe seasonal closures that began Dec. 1 at Emerald Mountain near Steamboat Springs to protect wintering and calving elk, according to a press release.

All areas south of the Ridge Trail in BLM’s Emerald Mountain Special Recreation Area are closed to public entry through June 30 to protect elk during their sensitive winter and calving seasons. This includes the Beall Trail and Kemry Draw. This closure corresponds with Colorado Parks and Wildlife lands to the east of the SRMA and the Humble Ranch property to the southeast.

“We saw a number of violations of this closure last winter even though the area was clearly marked. Violating the closure will result in citations and a minimum $175 fine,” BLM Little Snake Field Manager Wendy Reynolds said. “However, we do want to let people know that the Ridge and Rotary Trails remain open year-round for those wishing to visit Emerald Mountain before July 1.”

For more information, call the Little Snake Field Office at 970-826-5000 or log on to http://on.doi.gov/14Q6KTz.

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