Letter: Highway improvements worth the investment

Highway improvements worth the investment

In the midst of highway construction season, frustrated area travelers have many reasons to be thankful. As owner of an eclectic fleet of vehicles, I consider it a mixed blessing to be paying higher Colorado vehicle registration, bridge, and road safety FASTER surcharges (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery). With these higher fees there has been investment in area infrastructure, jobs and businesses.

Many have benefited from projects such as two-lane on- and off-ramps at the Interstate 70 Glenwood Springs interchange. Imagine the congestion if there were still one lane for westbound I-70 travelers starting on the Grand Avenue bridge. Hopefully with foresight, continued shared funding and completion of other FASTER projects, such as Highway 133 improvements in Carbondale, our patience will be duly rewarded.

With the completion of wildlife fencing projects in our area, I extend my appreciation to those involved in these and other beneficial, albeit expensive FASTER projects. Challenges related to such investment include accident reduction, mortality and impacts to herd size and migration patterns. Also important is correlating seasonal speed-reduction zones to accidents, wildlife mortality and tickets issued to whether these zones are truly effective or if future planning, funding and installation of wildlife fencing is a better alternative.

There remain areas around Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood Springs lacking needed big-game accident mitigation. Hopefully the possible “offensive aesthetics” opposition and other design challenges can be overcome and these high kill count locations can be funded and constructed. Motorists, hunters, wildlife watchers and big-game animals can all benefit.

Finally, thanks on a much smaller scale goes to whichever entity was responsible for the creation and installation of the “pedestrian push button is behind you” signs installed in downtown Glenwood Springs intersections on Grand Avenue. For years I have observed many frustrated pedestrians waiting in vain to cross the highway due to not pushing the “on demand” crossing buttons located in incongruous locations.

With patience, shared funding, and the commitment of resources to our region, many projects, large and small, mark significant investment and continued improvements for travelers, wildlife and many others.

Greg Jeung

Glenwood Springs