IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– It was stop number one of two for Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Thursday afternoon at the base of Floyd Hill, joined by several of Colorado’s heavy political hitters to talk about the future of I-70 and Colorado infrastructure on the roads. The secretary of transportation will head to Glenwood Canyon on Friday to continue his tour of some of the state’s top targets for improvements, hopeful for support from the recently passed $65 billion federal infrastructure bill.
“There’s no doubt that Colorado will benefit in a big way,” Buttigieg said, stating that I-70 is a priority for the nation to keep open and keep flowing at an appropriate speed.
He mentioned that he understands we won’t be able to build ourselves out of traffic issues, but that keeping the interstate well supported is on the to-do list, mentioning supply chain importance and efforts to combat climate change as a contributing factor for woes found along the interstate. The proposed plan for Floyd Hill includes a 5-year schedule to shave off some of the canyon walls to make room for a wider three-lane road that has a less sharp corner at the bottom of the hill. State funding has already been secured to start work next week, but there’s still a question about how much federal funding, if any, this project will receive.
Gov. Jared Polis, joined by Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse were all quick to thank Buttigieg for his visit along the interstate and shared an optimistic hope for drivers relying on the mountain corridor for transportation.
Still, the promise of construction in one of the biggest trouble spots along I-70 concerned the Clear Creek County sheriff, worried emergency crews might have a harder time getting to parts of Evergreen if construction and traffic prevented them from the shortest path.
Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Alvers told CBS4 Mountain Newsroom Reporter Spencer Wilson he believes Polis will hold to his promise that the interstate will remain open throughout the duration of the construction, but is keeping an eye on the situation nonetheless.