Midland Ave. design on table for City Council | PostIndependent.com

Midland Ave. design on table for City Council

A seemingly permanent road damage sign sits on south Midland as traffic goes by.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

An evening work session to further discuss the South Midland Avenue reconstruction design is expected to pave the way for a Glenwood Springs City Council decision of some sort later tonight on how to proceed with the project.

Council had postponed a decision last month whether to continue with a full rebuild, after some council members had questions about pricing and design options.

A full design with sidewalks along the entire three-quarter mile stretch, a larger water line replacement and various intersection improvements has an estimated price tag of between $8 million and $10 million.

Mayor Mike Gamba and others on the council have wanted to look at scaling back on the scope of the project as a way to save money for the eventual South Bridge connection, which has a cost in the range of $45 million.

Council is being asked by city staff to give direction on which elements should be included in the final design, so that the much-needed Midland reconstruction can stay on track for a 2019 construction schedule.

A collapse in one section of the slope below Midland near Hagar Lane last week pointed up the need to move along with the project.

In March, council members agreed to pay engineering consultants up to $20,000 extra to answer several lingering questions about the need for certain design aspects, as well as costs to include features such as a full 6-foot sidewalk and redesign of some key intersections.

Gamba said at the time that, by looking at some options, it doesn’t mean he’s in favor of a partial fix on Midland between the 27th Street roundabout and the Four Mile Road intersection.

“There have been some misconceptions about where I stand on South Midland … and that my proposal is to do just a partial reconstruction,” Gamba said during that meeting. “All of the proposals we are looking at are to completely reconstruct Midland with a new road.”

A 4 p.m. work session today is scheduled to be followed by a formal City Council vote on one of the design options during the regular session, which begins at 6 p.m.

It’s possible the project could be put on hold, however.

Meanwhile, City Council is also scheduled during its regular session tonight to discuss with Police Chief Terry Wilson and others some concerns about transient camping in the hills east of Glenwood Springs and related safety issues.

Residents of the eastside neighborhoods have recently expressed concerns about the proliferation of homeless camps in the woods along the Boy Scout Trail, extending south to the Wal-Mart area. Especially with the anticipated high fire danger this spring and into the summer, the camping situation is a growing concern.

Council is expected to reserve public comments on the matter until the item comes up on the agenda, which is near the end of the evening.