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CDOT Releases SH 9 Iron Springs Alignment Environmental Assessment

July 9, 2014 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - SUMMIT COUNTY - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today will release the State Highway (SH) 9 Iron Springs Alignment Environmental Assessment (EA) for a 30-day comment period to collect public input on a Proposed Action for highway improvements.

The Proposed Action (also known as the Iron Springs Alignment), would realign a 1.3 mile stretch of SH 9, south of Frisco, shortening the roadway by approximately 0.4 mile. The Proposed Action would improve safety by removing a tight compound curve, which contributes to accidents.

The Proposed Action would also realign a portion of the existing Blue River Bikeway, by moving it to the existing SH 9 alignment. The realigned bikeway would be approximately 0.4 mile longer than the existing one but would be at a much gentler grade than the current alignment. In addition, the existing US Forest Service Dickey Day Use Parking Lot would be moved west to a proposed new parking lot, allowing for safer access via an existing signalized intersection (at SH 9 and Recreation Way). A proposed new Dickey trail connection would provide connectivity between the new parking lot and realigned bikeway, as well as shoreline access. The Proposed Action would improve water quality protection by realigning SH 9 away from Dillon Reservoir.

If the Proposed Action is not built, SH 9 would be widened along the existing alignment as previously approved by CDOT and FHWA in the SH 9 Record of Decision (2004) and referred to in this EA as the “No Action Alternative.”

As described in the EA, the Proposed Action would provide a number of benefits not provided by the “No Action Alternative”, such as a safer and shorter SH 9 roadway reducing accidents and maintenance, less disruption of traffic flow during construction, water quality and recreation benefits by moving SH 9 away from the Dillon Reservoir, a gentler bikeway grade with a visually attractive setting along the reservoir, and less impacts to important wetlands.

In developing the Proposed Action, CDOT and FHWA sought input and worked cooperatively with a wide range of agencies and stakeholders including the US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Summit County, Town of Frisco, Continental Divide Land Trust, Denver Water, and others.

This EA is guided by the National Environmental Policy Act process, which includes opportunities for public comment prior to FHWA making a decision. CDOT and FHWA invite public input during the 30-day comment period from July 9, 2014, through August 8, 2014. The EA is available on the project website at www.coloradodot.info/projects/hwy9f2b, and it can be viewed at the following locations:

  • Summit County Main Library – County Commons Building, 0037 County Road 1005, Frisco

  • Summit County South Branch Library – 504 Airport Road, Breckenridge

  • CDOT Headquarters Library – Shumate Building, 4201 East Arkansas Avenue, Denver

  • CDOT Region 1 Office – 2000 South Holly, Denver

  • CDOT Region 3 Office – 222 South 6th Street #317, Grand Junction

  • FHWA Colorado Division Office – 12300 West Dakota Avenue #180, Lakewood

CDOT will host a Public Hearing to allow members of the community to learn about the project from CDOT representatives and to provide comments on the EA.  The meeting is scheduled for July 29, 2014, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Summit County Community and Senior Center, located at 0083 Nancy’s Place, Frisco.  Those who are unable to attend the Public Hearing are encouraged to submit written comments via the project website at www.coloradodot.info/projects/hwy9f2b , by facsimile (303-512-5675) or by mail to CDOT Region 3, c/o Grant Anderson, PO Box 2236, Frisco, CO 80443. Following the 30-day comment period and the Public Hearing, FHWA and CDOT will consider public comments and prepare a decision document, which is anticipated to be completed later in 2014.

*This project will receive funding from RAMP, Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships. RAMP is better coordinating project expenditures and available funding. Under the RAMP program, CDOT will fund multi-year projects based on year of expenditure, rather than saving for the full amount of a project before construction begins. For more information, including a list of RAMP project requests, please see our website: http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/RAMP.

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