Colorado residents petition against toll road

| 10/12/2006

The Prairie Falcon Parkway Express, if approved by the state DOT, would require the use of eminent domain to attain property in Colorado, and residents along the proposed route are not happy about the prospects of losing their land.

A meeting of toll-road opponents Saturday, Oct. 7, in Wellington, CO, drew 200 people. Many of them signed a petition against the company proposing the 210-mile private toll road from Wellington to Pueblo, CO.

Ray Wells, owner of the Front Range Toll Road company, wants to buy the land he needs to build the road. He signed a public-private initiative with the state that puts him in a position to use the state’s authority to acquire property from people who refuse to sell voluntarily.

State law does not allow private developers to use eminent domain independently, but a public-private initiative in Wells’ case could allow it to happen for some of the properties as long as a majority of property owners along the route sell to the developer voluntarily.

Opponents of the proposed roadway formerly known as the “Super Slab” have held several meetings to rally.

The Coloradoan newspaper reported this week that at least 10 percent of the property owners along the proposed route have signed the petition against the toll road.