Tell CDOT not to put 550 across Webb Ranch

If you appreciate our rural views and landscapes and believe in conservation and preservation of open space, please read this.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement and $78 million plan for realigning Farmington Hill across the Webb Ranch. That is $78 million in addition to $76 million spent on “The Bridge to Nowhere.” Three more bridges will be built.

This project needs to be stopped and public opinion matters. At a CDOT meeting in November, I asked how “The Bridge” could have ever been approved. The answer: “After the FINAL EIS was released no one voiced opposition.” Nine of 10 people I talk to oppose this project. Most feel it’s hopeless to fight it.

The Webb family doesn’t believe it’s hopeless. They will fight on. Our conservation-minded community should join them.

One of the prettiest ranches in Colorado is at the entrance to our community. It provides scenic beauty and a barrier between city sprawl and rural open space on the Florida Mesa. If U.S. Highway 550 is built across Webb Ranch, that barrier will be destroyed. We will quickly see sprawl and commercial development spread across the Florida Mesa to the state line.

This project is as worth fighting against as any that our community has ever faced. Do you want more concrete walls, bridges and ramps as in Denver and Gallup? Do you want urban sprawl as in Pagosa and Farmington?

This is not just about one family’s fight to save their ranch or wasteful expenditures of our tax dollars. It’s about preserving our rural landscape and open spaces.

Spend five minutes emailing CDOT. State your opposition to this wasteful project. If you have written before, write again. Long letters aren’t necessary. It’s just necessary that you write before Aug. 20.

Send comments to CDOT: nancy.shanks@dot.state.co.us. Copy the Federal Highways Commission: Stephanie.gibson@fhwa.dot.gov. Tell them we neither want nor need this new highway. If the bulldozers move in, our community will be changed forever.

Antonia Clark

Durango

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