Glenwood City Council split on South Bridge assessment alternatives |

Glenwood City Council split on South Bridge assessment alternatives

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – South Bridge may never get built. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be several more discussions about the subject regarding the controversial southern access route for Glenwood Springs.

The latest discussion held by Glenwood City Council on April 1 ended with a 4-2 vote to move forward with the South Bridge Environmental Assessment, including three proposed alternatives. Councilors Stephen Bershenyi and Russ Arensman voted no on the resolution. Councilor Leo McKinney was absent from the meeting.

The three proposed alternatives include the Under Airport North Alternative (option 8b), the Under Airport South Alternative (option 10b), and the No Build Alternative, which is included as an option if both 8b and 10b are found to not be viable options.

The No Build Alternative provides a fallback improvement strategy in case funding for construction of the selected build alternative is not forthcoming. This option would include improvements to Midland Avenue and 27th Street for improved safety, reliability and capacity to the existing infrastructure, according to city documents.

Mayor Bruce Christensen, before voting to approve the resolution, wanted some assurance that it would include a cost limit for the assessment to build the bridge, and possible funding sources that would pay for construction. However, City Manager Jeff Hecksel said that information would not be included in the resolution, but a future discussion would have to be held to address those specific issues.

The original assessment contract only included one preferred alternative. To include additional alternatives to be assessed will only increase the cost of the assessment.

Hecksel said that city staff are currently working to figure out just how much those additional costs will be. However, Hecksel told Council that adding one alternative to the assessment could cost an estimated $70,000.

Councilman Arensman commented at the April 1 meeting that the best option would be for the city to reduce the options to one preferred alternative build option, and the no build option, as a way to reduce costs for the city. But, ultimately, it was his opinion that Option 8b was not a viable option.

“I just don’t think it’s safe and I can’t support this for that reason,” Arensman said.

However, Councilwoman Shelley Kaup said she was uncomfortable removing one of the alternatives because the resolution reflected the recommendation of the Project Working Group and the Citizen Advisory Group.

“I guess I would rather have that decision made through the study itself, and not just a decision from council,” Kaup said.

Christensen requested a work session with consultants from Jacobs Engineering before the assessment starts.

In previous conversations with Craig Gaskill of Jacobs Engineering, he said that a start date had yet to be determined but that work could begin in May.

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