Town News

Catch Up With Council, March 12, 2024 – CDOT Exit 203 Project Update, Resolution Canceling The Municipal Election, and Unified Water Restrictions

CDOT Exit 203 Project Update

In 2019, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) studied I-70 exit 203 and an eastbound auxiliary lane, by modeling traffic through the year 2045. CDOT determined that by 2045, the infrastructure would rate poorly (level F). CDOT then explored five interchange designs for the exit and the Lusher/Dillon Dam Road intersection, presenting their findings to Frisco Town Council in May 2020. In 2020, CDOT secured funding for the eastbound I-70 auxiliary lane, which was completed in fall 2023. Following the completion of the auxiliary lanes, CDOT secured funding for the entirety of the Exit 203 interchange improvements. Design is scheduled to be complete in fall of 2025 and construction is tentatively scheduled to be completed in one large phase, beginning in spring of 2026 with completion scheduled for fall of 2028 (three construction seasons). Xcel Energy plans to begin utility relocation work for the project in summer 2024, including the relocation of a high pressure gas line.

CDOT last met with Council on May 23, 2023, to provide project updates. Since the last meeting, a public open house and business open house were held, and additional Project Leadership Team (PLT) and Technical Team (TT) meetings have been held to further refine the design.

The current design proposes the following major changes:

  • Modify the west bound (WB) off-ramp to add an additional lane and traffic signals to increase exiting traffic capacity and reduce the queue length (eliminate queuing onto the interstate); the roundabout will be removed
  • Widen the interstate overpass to provide an additional lane and sidewalk
  • Modify Lusher/Dillon Dam Road to be a right in/right out intersection with a continuous median on Summit Blvd
  • Add an underpass structure and new frontage road between 10 Mile Drive and Lusher Court
  • Add two new single-lane roundabouts on Dillon Dam Road and Lusher Court
  • Add new sidewalks and pedestrian connections with consideration of the Frisco Trails Master Plan

The project would create the following benefits for the Town of Frisco, which are outlined in the Town staff report:

  • Interchange improvements would increase the level of service and traffic capacity of the interchange. In particular, the WB off-ramp would be significantly improved by eliminating the queue onto the interstate and improving safety and wait times.
  • The new roundabouts and frontage road would improve traffic capacity, safety, and provide alternate routes. The new traffic configuration would decrease wait times by eliminating the need for left turn movements. This configuration would decrease travel times for Summit Stage and other transit services.
  • The addition of the underpass, roundabouts, and new sidewalks provide safer pedestrian crossings and routes. The at-grade crossing of Summit Boulevard will be eliminated, and a safer, grade-separated option will be provided. A new sidewalk would be added on the I-70 overpass. This sidewalk will add trail connectivity and provides another section of sidewalk in the eventual goal to provide a continuous sidewalk on the west side of Summit Boulevard.
  • The new roundabouts and median provide new opportunities for improved landscaping, signage, and art.

For the next steps, the Town and CDOT are working on an Intergovernmental Services Agreement, which will be presented to Frisco Town Council at a subsequent meeting for approval, to define ownership and maintenance responsibilities of the new infrastructure. CDOT is also working on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) clearance and Right-of-Way (ROW) acquisition from AC Marriott, Alpine Inn, and Summit County, as well as easements from several other property owners.

CDOT and Town staff presented a design overview and details to Town Council, asking for feedback regarding the current design of exit 203. Town Council had questions and feedback about additional improvements on Highway 9, pedestrian access, landscaping, railings, retaining wall aesthetics, bridge improvements, needed easements, signage, current and new traffic lights, and general design.

A Resolution Canceling the Municipal Election

Resolution 24-13 was passed by Town Council affirming that if on March 14, 2024, there are not more candidates than open seats to be filled by the municipal election held on April 2, 2024, the Town Clerk shall cancel the election and by resolution declare that the candidates have been deemed elected to begin their terms on April 23, 2024. Due to timing requirements, ballots have already been mailed and will be received by voters, even if election cancelation happens on March 14. If the election is canceled, then voters do not need to submit Frisco ballots this April.

Meet the Candidates Forum

The Town of Frisco is hosting a Town Council candidate forum on Wednesday, March 13 starting at 5:30pm and ending at approximately 7:00pm at 10 Mile Music Hall, located at 710 Main Street in Frisco. There are three candidates for three open Town Council member seats and one candidate for the open Mayoral seat.

The Town of Frisco invites community members to meet the four candidates who are currently running for the four open seats and learn more about their vision for Frisco. The candidates are Rick Ihnken for Mayor, Martin Allen for Town Council, Dan Kibbie for Town Council, and Andrew Aerenson for Town Council. Both Rick Ihnken and Andrew Aerenson are currently serving on the Frisco Town Council.

Unified Watering Restrictions

Chapter 171, Article V of the Frisco Town Code establishes a four-phase water conservation and water use restriction system for the Town of Frisco. The water conservation phases are based upon the need to conserve water as determined by the level of water flow in North Ten Mile Creek, by the average yield of the Town’s water wells, or by a combination of the two.

The current Code defines two zones for water use, a “North Zone” that consists of all land served by the Town’s water utility system that is north of Main Street and a “South Zone” that consists of all land served by the Town’s water utility system that is south of Main Street. Watering times in the Town are defined by these zones.

Town Staff have been working with High Country Conservation Center (HC3) and other jurisdictions in the County to align with recent research and community outreach on water conservation. HC3 is recommending a unified watering schedule across Summit County to improve compliance with statewide water conservation standards. Participation in a Growing Water Smart workshop identified that “time of day/week requirements are the low hanging fruit of water conservation and efficiency.” HC3 worked with a graduate student to conduct extensive research and community outreach and found that:

  • Unified schedules, even if voluntary, set a baseline for future conservation measures, such as separate landscape meters, minimum efficiency standards, and limiting turf
  • A unified irrigation schedule reduces confusion and increases compliance
  • Legislators and administrators responsible for resource conservation benefit from establishing a common system that may be adjusted in times of drought
  • Several landscapers contacted by HC3 support countywide consistency
  • A unified irrigation schedule exemplifies collaborative resource management

To unify watering schedules across Summit County, HC3 proposes the following schedule:

  • If the last full number in address is even, then residents may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays overnight from 6:00pm – 9:00am
  • If the last full number in address is odd, then residents may water on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays overnight from 6:00pm – 9:00am

Staff then proposed amendments to Chapter 171, Article V of the Frisco Town Code, specifically sections 171-20, 170-21 and 170-22, and Town Council then approved these amendments in Ordinance 24-07 during the regular meeting upon first reading.

Frisco Town Council Meetings: Ways to Participate

Frisco Town Council meetings are available to view via Zoom and YouTube, and are also held in person to make Town Council meetings easier to access for everyone.

The public can provide comment during meetings via Zoom or in person (not YouTube), and a public comment period will be available at 7:00pm; during the consideration of ordinances; and at the discretion of Town Council during work session items, which are discussions that don’t require a formal vote by Town Council and do not require public comment. Again, this hybrid approach is intended to make Town Council meetings more accessible, and meeting recordings will typically also be made available the day after a meeting in the meeting archive with agenda topics bookmarked to the discussions in the video.