U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Contact: Steve Moler
FHWA Publishes Record of Decision For Guanella Pass Road Project
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced that the record of decision on a plan to rehabilitate and reconstruct Guanella Pass Road in Colorado is available to the public throughout the state.
"This project demonstrates that, with the assistance provided by the local governments, other federal agencies and the public, the FHWA can satisfactorily address the transportation needs of local communities and preserve the qualities of the surrounding environment that we all recognize to be essential for healthy ecosystems," FHWA Administrator Mary Peters said.
Guanella Pass Road extends between the towns of Georgetown and Grant in Colorado in the mountains west of Denver. The road also goes through two national forests, the Arapaho-Roosevelt and the Pike-San Isabel.
The FHWA selected Alternative Six as its choice for the project. The town of Georgetown, the Park and Clear Creek County commissioners, and the U.S. Forest Service concurred with the FHWA selection as the choice for the segments within their respective jurisdictions.
Alternative Six minimizes full reconstruction yet improves safety, enhances the environment, and reduces maintenance compared to the existing condition. Working with local governments, residents and businesses, as well as the Forest Service, the FHWA reduced the design of the project to the greatest extent possible so that the new road closely follows the existing road, and the impact on previously undisturbed areas is minimized.
Peters also cited the project as an ideal example of a transportation project development philosophy called context-sensitive design.
"Context-sensitive design is intended to provide a safe, efficient transportation system that is sensitive to the human and natural environment," Peters said. "As now proposed, the Guanella Pass Road project is a great example of context-sensitive design in action: creating a safer facility that serves the needs of local residents and visitors alike while respecting the surrounding environment."
The road, which extends about 23 miles from Georgetown in Clear Creek County south to Grant in Park County, was built in the 1950s and is in need of upgrading. Through more than 11 years of environmental and engineering analysis, reconnaissance and scoping reports, numerous public meetings and one-on-one meetings with major stakeholders, FHWA developed six alternatives, including a no-build option, for the road.
Copies of the record of decision are available for public review at the following locations in Colorado:
Copies of the record of decision also can be obtained by writing to Mr. Richard Cushing, Environmental Planning Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division, Attn: Environment (CO-80), 555 Zang Street - Room 259, Lakewood, CO 80228.