Letter to the Editor/Public Comment: US-287 Reliever Route


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At the September 19, 2013, Public Hearing for the US-287 Reliever Route, held in Lamar;   I asked about the  “cost comparison” of the East vs. West  – Hwy 287 reliever route alternative.  The response of the CDOT representatives was “cost was not a factor, in making a determination”.   —   I am greatly concerned about this response. It occurs to me that a by-pass route, West of 287 (South of the Elks Lodge,  angling northwest to connect US 287 between Lamar & Wiley),  would be nearly 1/3 of the miles, in comparison to the proposed “East” route …. and, thus, inevitably incurring much less cost.   The alternative “West” route,  traversing vacant land (consisting of sand & sage brush), would also incur less cost implications in regards to disrupting and displacing a number of homes/businesses, as well as construction of additional bridges,  as required with the proposed “east” route.

The CDOT representatives responded that the alternative “West” route was not conducive to connecting Hwy 50.   However, I would speculate, that US 287 is at least 85% – 90% of the current and projected traffic flow;   especially considering that it is (will be) a major artery of Ports to Plains (north/south — Canada/Mexico).       Per my simple observations,  I-70 serves the major “national” artery for east-west traffic;  while Hwy 50 essentially serves “local” area traffic, a small fraction of traffic to be resolved, and thus, less likely to utilize the reliever route.  If a less costly solution could be achieved,  “substantially” reducing the outlay of precious tax payer’s dollars, as well as reducing the “time-line” for implementation;   then the “West” route alternative should be an “imperative” factor to be considered and presented to the public, before further action and dollars are expended on engineering designs for the “east” by-pass route.

Thus, I respectfully request, that CDOT provide the “cost analysis” of the above described West” route.   $110 Million is a considerable amount of “tax payer’s dollars,  and considering it will be nearly 10 years before funding becomes available to bring this concept to fruition  (with inflation and cost over-runs,  it will most likely cost considerably more),  it seems there is ample time to fully consider the alternative “west” route.  It may be well justified to remain with the “East” reliever route …  but I, for one, would like to know the logistical and cost differentials of the “West” alternative route.  

Therefore, by copy of my “Public Comment to CDOT,  I respectfully ask the Prowers County Commissioners to formally request, of CDOT, to provide the above described cost comparison, so that the public can be fully informed of all alternatives.


Thank You.
Jillane Hixson
Prowers County, Colorado

Filed Under: Letters to the Editor


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