Briefs for Jan. 17, 2014: CDOT approves funds for tunnel widening

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The Colorado Department of Transportation Transportation Commission has approved $55 million to widen the westbound Twin Tunnel and finalized a Memorandum of Understanding between CDOT, Clear Creek County and the City of Idaho Springs. The MOU provides a framework for making short and mid-term improvements to the long-congested corridor within Clear Creek County.

The westbound Twin Tunnel is one of the first in a package of short-term improvements outlined in the MOU. The westbound Twin Tunnel is anticipated to begin construction in the spring and be completed by the end of 2014.

Another short-term project in the MOU is the eastbound Peak Period Shoulder Lane. During peak travel periods for parts of the year, the eastbound shoulder of I-70 from Empire Junction to Idaho Springs will be used as a third, express toll lane.

For more information, visit www.coloradodot.info. For real-time travel information, visit www.cotrip.org, download the CDOT Mobile app on your smartphone or call 511.

Smoke to be visible from winter pile burning in Grand and Jackson counties

KREMMLING — Smoke may be visible near the towns of Granby and Rand this winter as crews from the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit burn slash piles generated from Bureau of Land Management forest management and fuel reduction projects, according to a press release.

Burning is expected to continue through Feb. 20. Crews will burn piles when weather conditions are favorable to lift smoke out of the area and moisture in adjacent vegetation is at acceptable levels to prevent spread. Slash piles typically are burned in the winter when the chance of the fires spreading is low.

For more information about these projects, call Kevin Thompson, 970-724-3033.

Online carpool matching service available for free

Residents of Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties have access to a free, online carpool matching service sponsored by Yampa Valley Data Partners, according to a news release.

Organizers hope the website, www.carpoolworld.com/northwestcolorado, will be a resource to help Northwest Colorado residents save on transportation costs. The project was created as part of the Northwest Colorado Energy Education Plan, funded by a grant from the Colorado Energy Office.

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