The Town of Vail and the Colorado Department of Transportation are sponsoring an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19 to collect public comments on a preliminary landscape plan for the I-70 Vail Underpass project. The session will take place at the Grand View on the third floor of the Lionshead Welcome Center adjacent to the Lionshead parking structure. Parking is free after 3 p.m.
The I-70 Vail Underpass is the proposed new multimodal pedestrian and vehicular connection that is midway between the Town Center and West Vail exits, passing under I-70.
The landscape concept plan was developed to meet the following criteria: maintain or enhance livability; retain community character and aesthetics through design and landscaping; develop a sustainable, maintainable project; deliver the project on-time and on-budget; support Vail’s past and current plans and planning objectives; enhance water quality to avoid impacts to Gore Creek; and provide transparent, accountable and timely information to the public during project design and construction.
During a review of the initial landscape concepts by the Town Council at its Feb. 17 meeting, there were suggestions to add additional trees to the plan and to ensure a long-term maintenance plan is in place to keep the landscaping colorful and vibrant.
Following Thursday’s open house, the concept plan will be refined and presented to the Town Council at its March 3 meeting for approval to submit to the Design Review Board. Once approved for submittal the Design Review Board will review the conceptual plan on March 3, with a final plan review on March 18.
The town and CDOT are continuing to proceed with the project’s design and updated cost estimates to help with the decision-making process that will be made this spring regarding funding. To date, revised cost estimates for the project have increased from $20.8 million to $29 million, which has caused the Town Council and CDOT to explore avenues for additional funding. The current cost-share split has the town paying 29 percent of the project and CDOT funding 71 percent. The project will be designed without a noise wall component following results of a preference survey which showed a lack of support for noise walls by impacted properties.
For more information, contact Tom Kassmel with the Town of Vail at 970-479-2235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
. Additional details are on the project webpage