City not over south bridge yet |

City not over south bridge yet

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” City manager Mike Copp said city officials are still working with 3rd District Congressman Scott McInnis to seek funding for the south bridge project.

If built, the bridge would span the Roaring Fork River and connect Airport Road to Highway 82.

“The city is still very interested in it,” Copp said Thursday. “We’re still in contact with Congressman McInnis.”

Colorado Department of Transportation resident engineer Karen Rowe announced Jan. 12 that CDOT postponed its share of the project until 2010 or beyond. But Copp said the project remains on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program list.

“The city could still put aside money,” Copp said.

Glenwood Springs city engineer Larry Thompson said design work for the bridge was close to 30 percent complete when work was halted.

“We narrowed it down to three options,” he said, “and what the city decides to do or not do as far as the airport will determine which option would be viable.”

Thompson was referring to whether the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport will stay open or be shut down.

If it remains open, the road leading to the bridge would either have to bend around the south end of the runway or tunnel under the runway. If the airport is closed, the road could shoot directly to the bridge site from Airport Road.

So far, the city has spent $134,000 on design work for the bridge. In all, the design work is expected to cost $570,000 and actual construction of the bridge is estimated to cost $8 million to $12 million.

Copp said he doesn’t know how far along McInnis’ funding request is, but said he’s been working closely on the project with McInnis aide Jason Reece.

Neither Reece nor McInnis’ spokesman Blair Jones immediately returned calls Thursday.

After the Coal Seam Fire in 2002, City Council discovered that the bridge would not only relieve congestion at the 27th Street Bridge, also known as the Sunlight Bridge, but also would serve as an alternate escape route in an emergency such as another wildfire.

Residents from the Three Mile and Four Mile corridors all were forced to evacuate over the 27th Street Bridge at the time of the fire.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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