On a June day in 2006, Myron Swisher stood on a highway overpass, watching a history-making moment on Interstate 25. Swisher, who worked for the state Department of Transportation, had labored for the past nine years to open a high occupancy toll lane on the crowded road, and he wanted to watch the first cars use it.
"The day we opened, I hopped in the car and went out to the 58th Avenue Bridge that looks down upon the tolling zone," Swisher said. "It was probably about 2:30 in the afternoon, so I wanted to get out there and see how things are going before rush hour started."
Looking back, Swisher's moment on the bridge may have marked the beginning of a new era in Colorado transportation.
Construction on the state’s first diverging diamond interchange is nearly complete in Grand Junction. The innovative project will open sometime in April. The Colorado Department of Transportation says it will give drivers freeflow access to a left hand I-70 on-ramp without having to wait for a traffic turn signal, or turn into on-coming traffic.
Colorado ski traffic is notorious. Transit officials have tried myriad ways to improve the flow on I-70 in the mountains: Police pace cars, traffic metering at the tunnels, and staggered releases at the ski resort parking lots.
Now they’re trying something new. Now they’re introducing Oleg.