Glenwood changes plans for pedestrian bridge
The city of Glenwood Springs is pushing back plans to build a new pedestrian bridge. And rather than spanning a highway as once had been envisioned, the bridge will cross a river.The city received a $146,433 grant in 2005 for a bridge across Interstate 70 at Devereux Road by Two Rivers Park. However, it now hopes to use the money to help build a pedestrian/bicycle bridge adjacent to the automobile bridge at Midland Avenue over the Colorado River in West Glenwood.The decision is being driven by both cost and the Midland Avenue bridge’s value as a local trail connection.”The bridge at West Glenwood is essential to the trail system,” said Mayor Bruce Christensen.The plan is to eventually link a proposed trail through South Canyon with a trail along Midland Avenue, providing a nonmotorized link to the Roaring Fork River Trail at the bridge across the river at Eighth Street.The West Glenwood bridge also would be used by river enthusiasts and spectators at the whitewater park proposed for that same location.The Devereux bridge still is on the city’s long-term wish list because it would serve pedestrians in the area of Two Rivers Park and the tramway to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. But it wouldn’t link trails in town, Christensen said.At one time, the city planned to allocate $150,000 toward building the bridge. But now the city’s price tag stands at about $750,000, based on the size of the grant it received and soaring construction costs that have driven the total projected cost of the bridge to $900,000.The bridge at Midland would be shorter, and cost an estimated $600,000. It would require the city to commit $300,000, which city officials expect they can do by 2008.As a result, the city has asked the Colorado Department of Transportation for permission to use its grant for that bridge instead. Because it doesn’t have the rest of the money for the bridge now, it also has asked CDOT to let it switch funding years with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, which had received a $122,000 trail grant for use in 2008.Under the switch, RFTA could get its grant next year. RFTA trails director Mike Hermes said the switch would add to the money RFTA hopes to use next year to build a trail along the railroad corridor from Glenwood to the Colorado Mountain College turnoff. RFTA already has a million-dollar grant and other funds for that work. The proposed switch would speed up work that would have had to wait until 2008.RFTA has been working toward completion of a trail along the corridor from Aspen to Glenwood. Much of the upvalley portion is complete, and construction now is focusing on downvalley.RFTA had hoped at one point to begin work on the stretch south of Glenwood this summer. But it turned out that it will take too long to go through the process of preparing to make use of the federal funds, Hermes said.When built, the trail south of Glenwood will eliminate the need for bicyclists to use Highway 82 south of the Buffalo Valley Inn turnoff. Although RFTA is focusing now on building trail heading south of Rosebud Cemetery at the south end of Glenwood, eventually the trail will connect with the city’s Roaring Fork River Trail at 23rd Street. Hermes said he’s awaiting an answer to the question of whether a proposed short excursion train will run on the corridor within city limits.”Until that gets sorted out I don’t really know where (on the corridor) I’m building the trail,” he said.It’s possible that section still could be built next year, even if rail is kept in place there for a train, Hermes said. He said he didn’t expect a dramatic increase in price if rail and trail end up sharing the corridor.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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