29 Road Interchange at I-70 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study

 

29 Rd Interchange at I-70 Study Image

First Public Meeting:

This Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study for the interchange of 29 Road at I-70 represents the next step in a process to complete the long-discussed internal “beltway” in Grand Junction to enhance local and regional connectivity for residential and commercial areas surrounding downtown. Planning efforts for the new roadway connections began in the 1980s and in the early 2000s design and construction began with completion of Riverside Parkway and additional project to carry 29 Road over I-70 Business Loop and the UPRR railroad. Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction are now continuing their partnership to work towards this final connection of 29 Road and I-70, through a PEL Study of this proposed new interchange.

The PEL Study will develop a thorough understanding of the existing and future transportation conditions and economic development opportunities within the project area with the intent of defining the need and an overall vision for the future interchange. Throughout the study process, Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction will work closely with agency stakeholders, area stakeholders, and members of the public to identify issues and opportunities related to the new 29 Road interchange at I-70.

Key elements of the study are to:

  • Identify the transportation vision and Purpose and Need for the 29 Road Interchange at I-70
  • Complete the study in accordance with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) process, including:
    • Public outreach
    • Direct involvement with local governments, community groups, and stakeholders within the interchange study area
    • Coordination with state and federal resource agencies
    • Documentation of study process, findings, and recommendations to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) standards, so information can be utilized or referenced in future NEPA documentation
    • PEL study documentation for FHWA concurrence
  • Identify existing and potential future transportation conditions and economic development opportunities within the interchange study area
  • Evaluate the potential benefits and impacts of a new interchange for 29 Road at I-70
  • Identify initial improvements that may be completed prior to full interchange construction
  • Estimate conceptual cost of recommended transportation improvements

This transportation study will be conducted using the PEL process. The PEL process is a study approach used to coordinate transportation planning efforts and to identify potential transportation benefits and impacts and environmental concerns, which can be applied to make planning decisions. PEL studies link planning efforts to future environmental processes and result in valuable information that may ultimately be used to prepare a NEPA study and design development. 

Please click on the titles to view additional information

PEL is a study process approach that is typically used to identify potential transportation benefits and impacts, along with environmental concerns, in a corridor or a specific location. It is generally conducted before overall project construction funding and phasing is identified, and before specific problems and solutions are known. 

PEL studies can be used to make planning decisions and for planning analysis.  These decisions and analyses, for example, can be used to identify and prioritize future projects, develop the Purpose and Need for a project, determine project size or length, and/or develop and refine a range of alternatives for improvements. 

The PEL study process can be helpful in discovering needs and desires and garnering project support for an overall vision when a project involves multiple jurisdictions, and can be used as a prioritization tool. 

PEL studies should be able to link planning efforts to environmental processes and result in useful information that can be carried forward into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The adoption and use of a PEL study in the NEPA process is subject to determination by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Visit the Colorado Division of Transportation (CDOT) website for more information about CDOT’s Planning and Environmental Linkages Program.

 

This project is located on the north side of the City of Grand Junction, along I-70 and between the existing Horizon Drive and I-70 Business Loop interchanges.

29 Road Interchange at 1-70 Planning Map

 

Public and stakeholder input will be used to develop the project Purpose and Need Statement.

  • A new interchange for 29 Road at I-70 would provide a new direct connection between US 50 and the state’s major east-west route – I-70.
  • The interchange would provide improved access to and from I-70 for residents and businesses to the south, potentially reducing trip lengths and traffic congestion on other routes.
  • The new interchange would create an opportunity to integrate development near the Grand Junction Regional Airport into the surrounding community.
  • It is envisioned the interchange would spur new economic development in the Grand Valley, opening direct and convenient access to the commercial property north of I-70, as well as leading traffic to businesses along Patterson Road and North Avenue.

Schedule

This PEL study is expected to take approximately one year to complete. The current study schedule will be shown below and will outline major work tasks and study milestones as they become available.

Understanding the ideas, perspectives, and needs of key stakeholders in the proposed interchange area is critical to building broadly supported decisions and solutions. Multiple opportunities will be provided for agency partners, area stakeholders, and the general public to engage and inform the study. The public and agency outreach plan includes the following:

Broad Public Outreach: The general public will be actively engaged to provide meaningful input on the area issues, project vision, evaluation of interchange benefits and impacts, and priorities for the phasing of recommended improvements. Two general public meetings will be held during the study.  In addition to general public meetings, presentations to groups and individual stakeholder meetings will occur as needed with property and business owners, emergency service providers, and others directly affected by the project. To request a presentation for your group, please contact Leah Langerman at leah.langerman@deainc.com.

Technical Team (TT): The TT will meet with consultant representatives to provide technical input as the study progresses. The TT includes staff from the local communities of Mesa County and City of Grand Junction, agencies including the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Grand Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (GVMPO), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Grand Junction Regional Airport. TT members will keep their respective elected officials updated and will serve as the primary connection with their communities or organizations.

Presentations: Presentations will occur at two key study milestones to keep policymakers and community members engaged throughout the study and to facilitate two-way information sharing. These presentations will be given to groups such as the Mesa County Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission, Grand Junction City Council and Planning Commission, Grand Junction Regional Airport, and Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce.

Public input is critical to making smart decisions for the 29 Road Interchange at I-70 PEL Study.  Submit your comments or questions here. All comments will be documented and used to help make project decisions.

Submit Comment

Project Contacts

Kevin King, Mesa County Project Manager
Phone: (970) 255-7147
Email: Kevin.king@mesacounty.us

Paul Jagim, City of Grand Junction Transportation Engineer
Phone: (970) 244-1542
Email: paulj@gjcity.org

Leah Langerman, Consultant Public Involvement Coordinator
Phone: (720) 225-4651
Email: Leah.langerman@deainc.com

Media Contact:
Stephanie Reecy, Mesa County Public Information Officer
Phone: (970) 244-1755
Email: Stephanie.reecy@mesacounty.us

Study reports will be posted here once finalized.