Teller Holds Breathe for I-25 project

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After a ribbon-cutting ceremony this month, the Gold Camp Connector is up and running between the cities of Cripple Creek and Victor. In a collaborative ceremony, Cripple Creek Mayor Bruce Brown cut the ribbon on his wide while Victor Mayor Buck Hakes did the honors in his city.

“I want to congratulate those who made the shuttle possible, thanks to the cities of Cripple Creek and Victor and the Teller County Coordinating Council,” said Teller County commissioner Marc Dettenrieder speaking at the commissioners' meeting July 25.

As well, the Colorado Department of Transportation provided grants for the shuttle service, Dettenrieder added. “I hope the service goes well and that citizens in Teller County are served and also the visitors,” he said.

Looking ahead to 2014, Commissioner Norm Steen offered a heads-up on legislative issues. Steen represents the county with Colorado Counties, Inc. “If there is some state law that you believe needs to be added, changed or removed, now is the time to start the discussion,” he said. “That language is now being drafted, at least through CCI.”

As a member of the state's transportation advisory commission, Steen keeps his eye on projects that affect Teller County. However, with two-and-a-half times as many requests as money available, one vital project remains in limbo. “The biggest one affecting Teller County is the upgrade to the interchange at I-25 and Cimarron,” Steen said. “If it's approved, expect construction in the spring and completion by 2017.”

The interchange project, now estimated to be $105 million, has been on the “list” since 1971, Steen said.

Reporting news from the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, Commissioner Dave Paul, who chairs the center's executive board, said unemployment in Teller and El Paso Counties had risen to above 8 percent. “Unfortunately, those numbers are not moving in the direction we had hoped,” he said.

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