Mesa County Urges Colorado Senators to Support I-70 Interchange At 29 Road
The idea of directly connecting Interstate 70 north of Grand Junction to US Highway 50 has been around for a long time - and it may be picking up steam.
The Benefits of I-70 Interchange At 29 Road
This week, the Mesa County Commissioners sent a letter to Colorado Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennett expressing their support of Grand Junction's efforts to secure funds for the preliminary design and right-of-way acquisition for the I-70/29 Road exchange. The letter touts the benefits of adding another Grand Junction exit off of I-70.
The project will augment and relieve the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) existing infrastructure at the adjacent Clifton/I-70B and Horizon Drive interchanges and will accommodate more direct travel, reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled and greenhouse gas emissions... An interchange at 29 Road has long been identified in many local and regional transportation plans as a way to enhance local and regional multi-modal connectivity, as part of a larger plan to provide connections in and around Grand Junction....This project will provide an important multimodal connection with mobility, safety, and economic benefits for the local community and region.....The proposed interchange will support planned population and employment growth across the region. - - Mesa County Commissioners
There Are Pros and Cons
Of course, there are two sides to every coin. I'm not knocking the 29 Road proposal, but, let me play devil's advocate for a moment and address some possible downsides to a 29 Road exit on I-70.
What Is the Downside to Adding An Exit On I-70?
It's a double-edged sword for the residents who live on 29 Road, north of North Avenue. A new exit would give them a quick easy on/off route to I-70. But, how would they feel about the increased traffic flow in front of their homes on a daily basis?
What about businesses in Clifton and on Horizon Drive that would see less traffic coming off of the interstate? Would they feel a negative economic impact when exiting motorists have another option?
The process of connecting 29 Road with Interstate 70 and any necessary improvements would not be cheap. Is there any chance Mesa County residents would be burdened with additional taxes to fund the project? Could Grand Junction's soon-to-be-realized marijuana money be used on the project?
Mesa County Is Definitely On Board
We have a long way to go before a 29 Road interchange on I-70 becomes reality, and there are plenty of questions to be answered. But, for now, Mesa County Commissioners are doing their part to let Colorado's congressional delegation know how important they feel the project is to the Grand Junction area.
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