Study eyes Devereux Road connection to east Wulfsohn
Though not on Glenwood Springs’ short list when it comes to major infrastructure projects, there’s yet another bridge across the Colorado River’s troubled waters in the works.
Engineering and planning for what would be a new bridge connection between the U.S. 6 corridor in north Glenwood Springs and the Glenwood Meadows area on Midland Avenue is in the formative stages.
Last week, City Council got a look at the 10 percent design plans for what would be a new link from Devereux Road by Two Rivers Park, over the Colorado River and Union Pacific Railroad tracks, to a new intersection at the east end of Wulfsohn Road and Midland.
Since last summer, the city has been working with engineering consultants to come up with options for replacing the existing Devereux Road bridge and continuing the span over the railroad tracks, either on the existing bridge alignment or to the west.
What began as 14 design alternatives was narrowed down to four or five alternatives, including one stand-out plan in particular.
It would involve obtaining right of way from the Colorado Department of Transportation to the south of its existing headquarters and highway maintenance storage yard on Centennial Street. The city would then build a new bridge over the river, Devereux Road and the railroad tracks, creating a new four-way intersection near the Glenwood Springs Community Center and the Marriott hotel properties.
The cost to do that is currently estimated at around $20.1 million.
“The alignment utilizes a substantial portion of the CDOT property, which would normally cause elimination of the option,” according to a project description. “However, discussions with the city indicated a desire to relocate CDOT to another site, providing a potential opportunity to utilize their property for the alignment.”
That possibility is part of a larger EPA Brownfield Area-Wide study that the city is conducting, looking at ways to better tie together several redevelopment areas both north and south of the river.
Other options for the Devereux bridge among the narrowed choices would range anywhere from $19 million to $29 million. They would involve variations of the current bridge alignment connecting to an off-set intersection at Wulfsohn, or a new bridge farther to the west connecting to the East Meadows intersection.
The Devereux-to-Midland connection is prominent in the city’s recently revised Long-Range Transportation Master Plan.
However, for now, it’s ranked lower in priority than several other transportation infrastructure projects, such as finalizing a permanent Eighth Street connection, replacement of the 27th Street bridge, a rebuild of south Midland Avenue and a possible bridge across the Roaring Fork River from 14th Street to Midland.
The massive South Bridge project, aimed at creating a new passage from the south Glenwood/Four Mile area across the Roaring Fork to Colorado Highway 82, also would likely rank ahead of the Devereux project. But that’s only if funding for the estimated $45 million-plus project and some political will were to ensue.
The city does not have any more money budgeted this year to continue work on the Devereux bridge proposal, but City Council does intend to include it in the city’s 2019 budget discussions.
If federal funding could be obtained, the city would also conduct a more-formal environmental assessment of the bridge options, which would include an extensive public process. To do that would likely cost around $500,000, said Jessica Bowser, assistant city engineer, during last week’s council work session.