We all should have a say on a Highway 82 bypass
I am addressing this letter to the newspapers in Rifle, Carbondale and Aspen because I think it is time to call upon all of the governments up and down the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys to weigh in on the question of a Highway 82 bypass around Glenwood Springs.
No doubt the Glenwood Springs City Council would rather see this question settled by the citizens of Glenwood Springs and its elected representatives. I disagree. Valleywide transportation routes should be discussed and decided upon by a regional consensus. The routing of a state highway through or around any municipality should never be determined solely by the municipality.
I envision four possible alignments: 1) an elevated roadway along the lower slopes of Lookout Mountain, 2) an elevated roadway along the lower slopes of Red Mountain, 3) a tunnel through Lookout Mountain to No Name, and 4) a tunnel under Blake Avenue from the beginning of Glen Avenue to Seventh Street, with a new bridge over the Colorado River. There may be other feasible alignments, but these are the ones which I have imagined as feasible. To ignore any of them is myopic.
I believe I have the advantage of having traveled in Switzerland twice during the last four years. There I observed several major highways built around, over or under mountain towns and cities very similar to Glenwood Springs. The solutions are, no doubt, very expensive, but they are genuine solutions just as the design of I-70 is a genuine solution. Funding must be sought both from the state and federal governments.
Instead of resisting input from communities in both the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys, the Glenwood Springs City Council should solicit the advice of its neighbors. We are all in this together.