Who is in charge of this town, the citizens or CDOT? Do we need the new bridge and access control plan that CDOT is trying to shove down our throats? Heck no.
The current bridge is obsolete by CDOT standards, and while it is a pain it is still structurally sound. What this town needs is a new bridge connected to a bypass, which probably should be along the railroad corridor. CDOT did a good job with Glenwood Canyon and could probably do a good job with a bypass if they set their mind to it.
But from what I have been reading, the CDOT access control plan will be spread out over 20 years. What this is telling me is that once the new bridge is built CDOT will have no interest in addressing a bypass.
Some of us remember how hard it was to get around and how business suffered during the repaving project, and that was during good times. Right now many businesses are hanging on by a thread, and that thread will break with massive construction, bridge closure and few tourists.
When the access control plan is implemented, town residents not being permitted to make left turns from Grand directly into their neighborhoods will be clogging up city side streets trying to get home, causing gridlock, pollution and accidents in residential areas.
It's time for Glenwood citizens to take back control of the direction our town is going to take. We did it before when CDOT proposed a poor bridge plan, we can do it again. Are you listening City Council and BOCC? Let's tell CDOT to take their 50 million in federal funds and spend it on a bridge someplace else. Using those funds here is a waste of taxpayers' money.
Come back, CDOT, when you want to discuss a bridge-bypass plan that will really benefit the citizens of Glenwood Springs, not just get an obsolete bridge off your bucket list.
It is totally ironic that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has added thousands of miles to the so-called "National Highway System" when they are currently unable to properly fund modernization of thousands of miles of obsolete roads. The only highways of "national interest" are on the interstate highway system. The others are primarily of local or regional interest only.
FHWA is a federal agency that should be abolished, or at least, drastically reduced in authority. When I went to work for their predecessor, Bureau of Public Roads (BPR), in 1948, they were playing a valuable role in highway development in our country. They were leaders in research, development of highway standards, and coordination between state highway departments. Now their major role is dispensing federal gas tax money collected in the states back to the states and spending billions of dollars in this process. Their responsibilities should be limited to research and advice.
The time has come to abolish the federal gas tax. States would have the prerogative of raising their gas tax to make up for lost revenue. State transportation agencies are staffed with professionals capable of directing highway design, construction and maintenance in their state. They do not need a federal agency looking over their shoulders.
Apparently, adding many miles to the National Highway System would beef up the role of FHWA and allow them to continue the waste of taxpayer dollars.