1. Can I-70's Mountain Corridor Ever Be Fixed?

    Can I-70's Mountain Corridor Ever Be Fixed?

    Shailen Bhatt is hungry. The executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation is at the wheel of a white Dodge Durango SUV—an official CDOT vehicle, retrofitted with flashing amber emergency lights—when he exits Interstate 70 in Idaho Springs, swoops into a McDonald’s drive-thru, and orders an Egg McMuffin. I’m sitting in the passenger seat. “Do you want anything?” he asks.

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    1. Don and I were colleagues. We hit it off, and he asked me if I wanted his job.
    2. You don't build an addition onto your house—no matter how big your family is—if your furnace is out and your roof is leaking.
    3. Shailen is in a very difficult position.
    4. It's a system that was designed in the '50s and built in the '60s for a population that they thought would be about three million statewide in the '80s.
    5. Everybody is always talking about, Why can't we have nice things like Utah?—wider highways, light rail, and more transit options—but they don't want to pay for any of those things.
    6. I couldn't be prouder of that project.
    7. All the parties up and down the corridor were battling.
    8. The problem we can't change is that the highway doesn't belong where it is.
    9. We live with the congestion and a horrendous amount of noise.
    10. But Coffin, who was involved in the process, recalls.
    11. It provided a road map that all corridor stakeholders could agree on.
    12. Here in Colorado, people see the need for transportation infrastructure investment.
    13. I-70 is the lifeblood of Colorado's tourism industry.
    14. One way you could get a third bore built is by tolling the existing tunnel.
    15. Historically, [VMTs] have been very unpopular with drivers for a variety of different reasons.
    16. The way you get something like this funded is by having people believe that the new revenues will really make a difference in their lives.
    17. Shailen keeps pointing out these things that are very irritating.
    18. Widening roads all the time is just a 20th-century mindset.
    19. It could be the national model for how vehicles, infrastructure, and systems all talk to one another.
    20. If an RV ahead of me blows a tire, that vehicle would start broadcasting that it's stopped.
    21. The Denver metro area stays competitive in the country because of what we have to offer—access to incredible outdoor recreation.
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