Steamboat Springs Local residents will be able to review and comment on the Colorado Department of Transportation's 20-year plan during a public open house from 5 to 8 tonight at Olympian Hall. The meeting is part of a series of statewide public meetings meant to gather input on the 2020 Statewide Transportation Plan.
"Input from the community is critical to the success of the statewide plan," CDOT Executive Director Tim Norton said. "We want to be sure we are doing everything possible to meet the transportation needs across the state."
What that means to residents in the Yampa Valley is they can gain information from local and state CDOT representatives about the projects listed in the plan, said Rich Perske, CDOT's Region 3 program engineer. Booths displaying data and information about issues such as bicycle routes, safety and needs; current and future traffic congestion problems; and the reconstruction of roads will be at the meeting.
"The whole gamut of transportation needs are represented in the information," Perske said. "We're there to talk about whatever is on the people's minds."
Specific to the Yampa Valley, some of the projects included in CDOT's 20-year plan are the reconstruction of Colorado 131 from Steamboat to Oak Creek and road repairs to Colo. 13 north of Craig.
By attending the informational open house, residents will be able to receive a comprehensive, statewide view of transportation needs. The 20-year list of projects in the plan are always being updated, Perske said, so it's important for residents to attend the meeting to become informed about the proposed transportation projects and to share their views on the plans.
"People can drop by at their convenience and get some one-on-one exchange," Perske said. "I will be there to answer any questions in my area about the programs and projects we're presenting. We're hoping to get good participation."
The public open house is being held in conjunction with the Northwest Regional Commission meeting that will be from 3 to 5 p.m. today also at Olympian Hall. The commission's agenda includes reviewing the 2020 statewide plan, along with reviewing the 2001-2006 State Transportation Improvement Program. STIP projects address shorter-term transportation needs and are a part of the 20-year plan.
"We have a very high certainty that we will receive those funds (for STIP projects)," Perske said.
Transportation projects for Colorado's northwest region, which includes Routt, Moffat, Jackson, Rio Blanco and Grand counties, are fiscally constrained to $320 million.
When planning for future transportation projects, the commission takes the approach that funds are limited and the projects are planned accordingly, Perske said. As time goes by, different projects gain or lose priority over others.
"The 20-year plan is a dynamic process," Perske said. "The (project) list is always being updated."
A copy of the statewide plan is available to review at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder's office in the court house.