Glenwood likely to cough up extra funds for Sunlight Bridge repairs |

Glenwood likely to cough up extra funds for Sunlight Bridge repairs

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – City staff has recommended to City Council to allocate an additional $222,730 to pay for repairs to the Sunlight Bridge at 27th Street, saying that the repairs are “critical.”

The city entered into an agreement with the Corps of Engineers in mid 2008 at a cost of $409,000. Of that, federal funding would cover 65 percent and the city would pay the remaining 35 percent, or $143,146, according to the city report. The city has already paid $88,000 to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Since then, the Corps of Engineers has contacted the city three times informing it that the costs were increasing to $927,800, ultimately increasing the city’s contribution to $310,730.

According to a memo from Mike McDill to City Council dated June 24, the staff recommendation for the project is to pay the additional money, despite the rise in costs.

“Based on the existing projects within the Street Tax Fund, this additional expenditure for this work can be accommodated,” McDill’s memo stated.

City Council removed the item from the consent agenda at its July 23 meeting for further discussion. Council decided to postpone the discussion until this week’s meeting because City Manager Jeff Hecksel was absent from the previous meeting.

Mayor Bruce Christensen previously said that he wanted to remove the item from the consent agenda for further discussion because he would like an explanation as to why the cost has gone up so much.

According to Army Corps of Engineers project manager Felton Prosper, the increase in costs came from additional safety precautions needed to adequately perform the work.

“What we did was leaned more toward safety,” Prosper said.

According to Prosper, the Corps of Engineers presented the city with three alternatives to choose from on how the repairs could be done.

Prosper said that the work is designed to fix areas of erosion on the bridge’s concrete support columns, underneath the Roaring Fork River’s flow. The plan is to “rip wrap” the pillars with larger rocks and then backfill the gaps with smaller rocks, which will prevent the pillars from eroding, Prosper said. However, in order to place the rocks properly, rather than just dumping them into the water, the river flows must be diverted from around the pillars and the rocks must be “placed,” which also adds to the cost, he said.

Prosper also said that the Corps initially did not know how deep the pillars went, and the total number of pillars needing repairs.

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