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CDOT explains

Dear Editor:Toni Kronberg’s Jan. 10 letter addresses added growth in the Aspen area and “gridlock and traffic jams” on SH 82, and asks CDOT to explain the process that needs to be followed to add capacity and resolve the congestion.The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Entrance to Aspen was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1998. The preferred alternative in the EIS was a combination of highway and intersection improvements, an incremental transportation management system and a transit system: light rail transit (LRT) along with two general purpose lanes across the Marolt-Thomas parcel; the LRT funding and support was separate from the CDOT/FHWA process. Prior to adding further capacity, the FHWA is requiring a formal written reevaluation of the EIS to determine changes in the project, its surroundings and impacts, and any new issues identified since the final EIS was approved. Conditions that may have changed are: public support of (or opposition to) alternatives that were originally evaluated, accident data, traffic volumes, improvements in air quality, and the lack of funding for the LRT component.A possible outcome of the reevaluation is a Supplemental EIS. A Supplemental EIS would provide an up-to-date consideration of possible transportation alternatives (including new alternatives or previously screened alternatives), and it would allow for public input for all involved users of the transportation system.There is no CDOT/FHWA funding currently identified for a Supplemental EIS in the CDOT Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). If local funding materialized then an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) would be executed to allow CDOT to perform the work.Joe ElsenCDOT program engineerGlenwood Springs


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