Monday, October 7, 2013

Ribbon Cut, Boulder Canyon Open, Full RTD Schedule Resumes

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Mayor Gierlach fielding questions from the press.
I was able to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to reopen Boulder Canyon and State Highway 119 from Boulder to Nederland.

I could not give enough thanks to Governor John Hickenlooper and CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt. I believe they both understand how important Boulder Canyon is to our community. As I mentioned, at the Metro Mayors Caucus last week, our canyon was one of the first two contracts issued by CDOT, and Sema Construction began the road repairs 'before the ink dried' on the contract.

While we were milling about at 5:30am, waiting for the governor to arrive at the ribbon cutting ceremony, one of the project managers from CDOT explained to me that RTD is resuming the full N Bus schedule starting Tuesday, October 8th.

Don Hunt CDOT Executive Director,
Deb Gardner, Boulder County Commissioner,
John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado,
Joe Gierlach, Mayor of Nederland
Here is how Denver Post reporter, Joey Bunch, covered today's story: Flood-Ravaged Road through Boulder Canyon Reopens, Much More to Do. The Daily Camera covered the story last evening at the moment Boulder Canyon reopened: Flood-Damaged Boulder Canyon Re-Opens to Traffic Ahead of Schedule.

Between last night, when the U.S. National Guard took down the blockade, and early this morning, I quickly stopped in to Blue Owl Books to get the last two copies of the book, Welcome To The Mountains!, Now Behave!, by local author Geno Kennedy, (also available at the Gold Hill Store) I got the books, so I could present them to Governor John Hickenlooper and CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt. I think they really got a kick out of it. In fact, I got a call this morning from Sam Mamet, the Executive Director of the Colorado Municipal League (CML) who watched this morning's news from a treadmill, and wants a copy of the book as well. I'll have to scramble around at the Nederland Visitor Center to get another copy before he comes up next week to meet me in Nederland and get a tour of Jamestown from Mayor Tara Schoedinger.

Governor John Hickenlooper signing the Thank You poster

CDOT had a poster which I gladly signed along with the governor, thanking the workers for such a great effort.

I had a chance to catch up with Boulder County Commissioner, Deb Gardner as well. She had been to the Nederland Holiday Mountain Market last year (hosted by the Nederland Area Seniors) and met with many of our local artists and craftsmen.

We both got the impression this morning that Governor Hickenlooper and Don Hunt from CDOT fully understood the importance of opening Boulder Canyon, and its impact on our local businesses and commuters. After all, even Senator Bennet recognizes that it is prime Leaf Peeping Season in Ned.

We also spoke briefly about Boulder County Transportation's efforts in the recovery, Sunshine Canyon, Left Hand Canyon Road, Salina and Magnolia.

Don Hunt CDOT Executive Director and Gov Hickenlooper

When Don Hunt and I made the deal in the car a week and a half ago, the community really pulled through and stayed out of the canyon in order to help the construction crews get the job done.

I felt we kept our part of the bargain, but CDOT really exceeded my expectations by opening the canyon a week early.

We are grateful for the workers that worked day and night, through the weekend, often 12 hour shifts.

On the way down the canyon yesterday for the opening, Nederland Town Administrator, Alisha Reis drove, Trustee, Annette Croughwell was in the passenger seat, and I was in the back. We gave a local resident a ride down the canyon who was sitting next to me. We passed a long line of cars, escorted by the CDOT project manager, past the U.S. National Guard. Our passenger said, "I didn't realize you were the mayor, I just needed to hitch a ride to work at Whole Foods. Please thank whoever made this happen."

Here is a video clip (below) of the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony from CBS4 Denver News:

Here is a video clip during yesterday's festivities as reported by Jaclyn Allen from 7News:

A great day in Ned.
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