GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Council will continue discussions regarding the South Bridge environmental assessment at this week's scheduled meeting.
Council members will again discuss how the city would like to move forward with the environmental assessment on the impacts of South Bridge.
At its Jan. 7 meeting, council voted 6-1 to move forward with the assessment which included South Bridge alternatives 8b and 10b. They also agreed to once again drop the Cardiff Bridge alternative 5 from the assessment.
However, some councilors expressed interest in other options of how to proceed, and requested an opportunity to explore these options further. Those options include addressing issues raised through the review process, and developing a new scope of work for the project.
Jacobs Engineering provided council with estimates for additional areas they wanted to explore in the assessment. Some of that work includes additional assessments of the proposed intersection at Highway 82, proposed crossing of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority's easement along Highway 82, and of the Four Mile Road and Midland Avenue intersection, to name a few.
City Manager Jeff Hecksel stated in a memo to council the possibility that some councilor's concerns may be answered through the city's Comprehensive Plan process or the Corridor Optimization process.
"If that is possible, council may want to wait before spending money to duplicate work," Hecksel stated in the memo.
Hecksel also raised the question of how the city plans to pay for the additional work, because the city's street tax fund is strained this year.
With the assessment being paid for in part by federal earmarked funds, the city and county would have to pay a portion of the additional estimated $82,000 in cost, according to Hecksel. Part of the problem, according to Hecksel, is that the county may not be on board with the additional work, because it's not part of the original intergovernmental agreement between the city and county.
"Those are things that are not contemplated in the agreement with the county," Hecksel said. "Whether the county wants to be in on those things is unknown."
City staff recommends that council wait until after the Comprehensive Plan and Corridor Optimization Plan are completed, to determine whether or not additional work is needed. The Corridor Optimization Plan will be presented to council in March and the comprehensive plan should be finished within the next six months, according to Hecksel.
"It may be good to get some of that information and try to put the pieces together, even though they are separate pieces of work, and try to figure out what we don't already have," Hecksel said.