More Webcams coming to Vail Pass | AspenTimes.com

More Webcams coming to Vail Pass

Melanie Wong
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. ” A new project on Vail Pass will let drivers see conditions on the entire pass online.

Colorado Department of Transportation crews are installing a new fiberoptic system on the stretch of Interstate 70 this summer. CDOT plans to install the cameras to go with the system and additional message boards later, spokesman Bob Wilson said.

The new camera system will allow higher-quality information to be transmitted more quickly, meaning drivers can go to CDOT’s website to see better online images of the road and more up-to-date messages on the conditions.

At least 10 cameras are needed to collect images from the entire pass; currently, there are only three at the top, Wilson said.

“With access to the Internet, you’ll actually be able to see what’s happening on the pass. Then people can make the judgment call of whether they want to drive it,” he said.

The Glenwood Canyon and the Eisenhower Tunnel stretches of I-70 already have the fiberoptic system and the entirety of those stretches can be seen via mounted cameras.

The Town of Vail is also considering partnering with CDOT and using the fiberoptic system to put Webcams at the town’s main intersections, Wilson said.

The project to install the lines, cameras and message boards from Frisco to East Vail will cost $5.7 million. The eventual goal is to install enough cameras to view I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction.

Edwards resident Patti Weinstein said she thinks the idea is “fabulous.” In the winter, she gets online to see the road reports before driving to Denver, but it has to be “pretty bad” to keep her from actually going.

More current information on the website and message signs will be helpful, she said.

“Sometimes you’ll go along and once you get on the pass you find that it’s a little different (from the report),” she said.

Eagle-Vail resident Dave Smith said he doesn’t think the new improvements are necessary, especially given the price tag. “I don’t need to see the whole pass. One picture at the top is good enough for me,” he said.

He said he doesn’t particularly find the message boards helpful either.

“Those minutes don’t do me any good. It’s nice to know if (the pass) is open, but otherwise, you’ll get there when you get there,” he said.

Updated, statewide road conditions, including Webcam images, can be found at http://www.cotrip.org.

mwong@vaildaily.com


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