Each time I-70 passes through Glenwood Canyon, traffic redirects north and passes through Steamboat Springs.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado – There has been a lot of noise in Steamboat Springs lately.
Recurring closures along I-70 through Glenwood Canyon mean drivers are detouring north. This detour route includes Highway 40 through Steamboat Springs.
“This traffic goes directly through Lincoln Avenue, which is our downtown area. People are shopping and waiting to cross at crosswalks and there are huge tractor-trailers coming in, it’s just crazy, ”said Shannon Lukens, news director at Steamboat Radio.
“We’re really trying to breathe deeply and deal with the traffic, but it’s not fun right now.”
On Friday afternoon, she filmed a video showing semi-trailers, campers and delivery trucks competing for road space with pedestrians, cyclists and tourists trying to cross the street. She said it wasn’t just Steamboat Springs, but other towns along the bend like Craig, Meeker and Hayden.
“We have ranchers and farmers here and they’re trying to go through, and you could have a tractor and all of a sudden these semi-trailers! “
“Steamboat Springs and Hwy 40 through downtown are just not set up to handle the kind of volume you would have on the freeway,” said Jason Lacy, local lawyer and member of Steamboat Springs City Council.
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“The infrastructure, the size of the lanes, we’re just not set up to handle this volume of traffic on a regular basis. It blocks the freeway in all directions, creating a lot of bottlenecks here in our local community.
But there’s not much that city leaders can do except try to keep locals and visitors informed of changes as they happen.
And the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) expects more of the same. Burn scars and flooding along Glenwood Canyon will likely be a problem throughout the season.
“[That’s] perhaps the most frustrating part we don’t know. It’s such a start and end problem now, ”Lacy said.
“Sometimes they manage to open the highway, which reduces our traffic. But it may not be until a few hours later that the highway closes. That’s the really hard part, in terms of the planning for us. We don’t know how long each might even happen or when it will happen. It could literally be in the next few hours.
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