Still, he would like to see every team use a humidor. "To have a unified and consistent baseball throughout the game," he notes.

Now, if only it could help our pitching.

— Nick Lucchesi

Eisenhower Tunnel, Clear Creek County

Inside the control room of the Eisenhower Tunnel, dozens of employees monitor more than thirty large screens, keeping watch on a throughway that, since its historic construction in 1973, has allowed hundreds of millions of cars to drive straight across the Continental Divide.

At 11,155 feet above sea level, the 1.7-mile tunnel is the highest of its kind in the world — something that drivers notice right away as they chug uphill on either side or crunch their brakes on the way down.

"It's a critical link from the east slope to the west slope, and has made huge differences for people in the way that they can access recreation and all that the mountains have to offer," says Mike Salamon, who has worked as a superintendent at the tunnel, sixty miles west of Denver, for 35 years.

The numbers prove it.

Since March 1973 through July 2012, exactly 304,794,917 vehicles have passed through the tunnel, and the rate is twice today what it was thirty years ago. On average, more than ten million cars pass through each year, or an average of 30,000 a day (sometimes it seems like they're all there at once). And although ski-season traffic gets the most attention because of traffic jams and bad weather, usage is usually highest in the summer.

Plans for a tunnel under the Continental Divide date back to the 1860s, but it wasn't until a century later, in 1968, that the technology and funding was created to make construction possible.

The $116.9 million effort, which began that year, employed thousands of people who worked 24 hours a day, six days a week. When it was done, people no longer had to take the twisting 9.5-mile route along U.S. 6 over the 11,992-foot-high Loveland Pass, but could use the new I-70 instead.

Beyond the tunnel's quirky climate — where there can be snow on one side and blue skies on the other — there are some other unusual attributes. For instance, a staff of 51 employees work 24/7 to make sure everything is running smoothly. "That control room has never been empty since 1973," says Salamon, explaining that the team in the roughly one-acre facility has a wide range of responsibilities, from monitoring traffic and plowing snow to overseeing roadway drainage and stopping trucks that are too tall. On more stressful days, employees have to launch emergency responses to vehicles that stall inside or, worse, put out fires that ignite inside the tunnel. But because they pay close attention and have never had a fatal accident, Salamon says, "it's probably the safest two miles of road in Colorado."

From inside the impressive facility, it's clear that the site has everything it needs to function on its own, from 28 huge ventilation fans to a water-treatment facility that processes 72,000 gallons of sewage a day to its own fire pumper, which can discharge 500 gallons of water a minute.

"We're self-contained," says Ken Martinez, a senior maintenance supervisor. "We're our own little city up here."

Sam Levin

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6 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Come to beautiful Colorado to vacation.

Return home w/ a record and on probation.....

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

It's too bad our police forces,

and individuals such as Carole Chambers,

ruin what once was one of the best best

places to live in the nation......

mozela910
mozela910

from dave eberhardt, baltimore, md-to the sunshine state

 

@

Rain fell in Aurora, Colorado today,

 It fell for the Victims and Executioner as well

. It smiled at the dawn references That news reporters made re the name,

 Although none of them made any;

 It smiled at the Lack of reporting On Colorado gun laws... 

It forgave and forgave.

 If you listened closely you Might have heard how it said: 

Forgive and forgive.

 Seek no vengeance, work for peace. It said,

I washed the blood off Forever battlefields and I can wash this off

. Press on,

it said but it said it like this: 

Ssssh, ssssh...

 Peace...peace. 

 

 

   From:     Hogan, Steve <shogan@auroragov.org>To:     'mozela9@comcast.net' <mozela9@comcast.net>  Odd, but that's the same message an opponent of stronger laws sent me.  Someday maybe your side and their side will grow up, and get past calling each other names. Colorado law does not allow cities to overrule the state legislature, even if they want to.  Since I couldn't do anything one way or the other without a vote of another elected body, where does that put me, other than in the same place as you, and the person on the other side of the issue? Next time, and there will be a next time unless all types of weapons are outlawed, you might really think first about those actually killed or wounded, instead of your political agenda. Steve HoganMayorCity of Aurora

 

 
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