Rocky Mountain National Park plans to install ‘Fast Pass’ lane at entrance | SkyHiNews.com

Rocky Mountain National Park plans to install ‘Fast Pass’ lane at entrance

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The west portal of Rocky Mountain National Park is poised to receive a facelift, one that could benefit local pass holders.

The Park has plans to install a “Fast Pass lane” along with other improvements that would serve to replace existing west-end entrance facilities.

The existing facilities were built in 1960.

The new lane would allow park access via card or electronic pass, allowing season pass holders to avoid long tourist lines in the height of the season.

Park Officials have submitted plans, presently under environmental review, to overhaul the existing entrance station to correct “safety deficiencies” and “improve visitor service,” according to Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker.

The Park has proposed a list of improvements, such as replacing the two entrance kiosks and the remittance office with new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant facilities, adding a proper ventilation system that would protect Park employees from auto exhaust fumes, correcting vehicle lane widths, and providing a modern security system for employee safety.

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And similar to the Beaver Meadows Entrance, the Park intends to create a lane specifically for pass and card holders.

Included in what’s estimated to be an $853,000 project are plans to relocate the entrance station 90 feet to the north of its present location to preserve mature Colorado blue spruce trees and to minimize impacts to the wetlands, according to the Park’s Chief of Planning Larry Gamble.

In recent years, the Park made improvements to the popular Beaver Meadows and Wild Basin entrances on the eastern side of the park.

Gamble predicts the improvements should reduce entrance wait times considerably.

Barring completion of the NEPA process, construction is slated to start this fall and completed before the summer season of 2010.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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