Colorado landowners fighting toll-road proposal

| Monday, September 25, 2006

They call themselves “toll warriors” and they are ready to fight for their land.

Three Colorado residents who live within the proposed swath of the Prairie Falcon Express Parkway – formerly known as the Super Slab – addressed a crowd of 100 people last week in Pueblo, CO, during a rally against the proposed toll road.

Developer Ray Wells wants the state to use eminent domain to further his dream of building the $2.5 billion, 210-mile toll road through Colorado’s eastern plains.

The “toll warriors” don’t want to give up their land.

“Ray Wells would like you to think it’s a done deal,” retired teacher Gay Thomasson of Elbert County, CO, told the Pueblo crowd, according to the Pueblo Chieftan. “But it’s not a done deal. Stay informed and whatever you do, don’t roll over. You can’t walk away from it. If you turn your back, it will happen.”

A Colorado House bill requires private toll road companies to meet standards and obtain approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation for land acquisition involving eminent domain.

Prairie Falcon Express Parkway developers recently narrowed its study area from 12 miles wide to 3 miles wide. The eventual roadway would be about 1,200 feet wide within the area being studied.

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