New Exit Ramp to Ease Traffic Near Parachute
KREX News Room
PARACHUTE, Colo.- More than 100 people gathered along a new exit ramp on Interstate 70, just west of Parachute, where a ribbon cutting was held Wednesday.
After years of planning, the new $12 million exit ramp will not only ease traffic for Parachute and Battlement Mesa, but will also allow oil field workers to access rigs more easily.
"To be able to put a new interchange on the interstate system, it's not as easy as you would think," said Joe Elsen, program engineer for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
With more than five organizations coming together, officials say the ramp will create more safety. It will also remove trucks and heavy machinery traveling within the towns of Parachute and Battlement Mesa.
"It's going to make it easier for heavy equipment to get on and off the highway and to get to where they need to go," said Rep. Randy Baumgardner of District 57.
Local motorists who used to follow trucks and rigs will now no longer have to follow in line.
"It was backed up for half a mile down I-70," said Mike Samson, Garfield County commissioner for District 3.
"They can actually get off the interstate down on the east side of town and get to their home without sitting in traffic for 30 minutes," said Baumgardner.
Quicker routes mean more safety.
"For emergency services like ambulances, police or fire trucks, it's just one more way to get off the interstate," said Elsen.
Officials say the project will bring more convenience to the local energy industry and an easier way of life for those residing in the area.
"They're thinking of the future on what is going to happen around here and the way of energy development," said Samson.
The interchange will open up sometime before Nov. 12.