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CDOT Considers Options To Ease Congestion On I-70

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One of the high-speed rail options presented to CDOT. (credit: CBS)

One of the high-speed rail options presented to CDOT. (credit: CBS)

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)- The Colorado Department of Transportation is working on solutions to the congestion along Interstate 70 from the mountains to Denver.

CDOT said everything is on the table as they focus on high-speed transit and hear proposals from different companies and engineers. Those proposals were presented at a forum at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds on Thursday.

Originally 18 proposals were submitted and that has been narrowed to less than a dozen realistic options to solving the traffic tie-ups along I-70.

The options range from using renewable energy as a power source for mass transit to different types of rails and cars.

“All of these companies have demonstrated their technical feasibility within the corridor and that includes the grades and the weather conditions and all of these things,” said CDOT Transit & Rail spokesman Mark Imoff.

Some of the options presented include a monorail system with long trains and other more revolutionary ideas of smaller transit cars placed on a fixed rail.

“We actually don’t have one single wheel on the entire vehicle. We actually use the train with magnetic levitation,” said American Maglev Technology Inc. spokeswoman Emily Morris.

American Maglev Technology Inc. already has one of their futuristic monorails operating in Atlanta.

“We think it’s very safe, feasible and ready for deployment here in Colorado and across the world,” said Morris.

“The mountain corridor presents a lot more technical challenges so there are few technologies that can operate in the mountains,” said Imoff.

Sky Tran presented an option that features smaller, individual cars on a fixed line. The company is based in Loveland.

“You can just go and call it up anytime of any day and get a vehicle and go to Vail or Keystone or wherever you want to go,” said Sky Tran spokesman Dr. Paul Williamson. “We found the average load is 1.2 people per car so why would you build something so big and run it on schedule when you can have something like Sky Tran.”

Many of the companies said they have financing to get started on the projects. CDOT isn’t rushing into anything just yet.

“This evaluation is for 2025 to have a system up and operating. Now there’s many big ifs only the way,” said Imoff.

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