Wednesday meeting turns attention to Glenwood South Bridge project | PostIndependent.com

Wednesday meeting turns attention to Glenwood South Bridge project

This photo illustration from the South Bridge project environmental assessment shows the planned route from Airport Road, upper left, underneath the airport runway, across the Roaring Fork River and to a new grade-separated interchange at Colorado 82.

As Glenwood Springs braces for the final phases of construction on the new downtown Grand Avenue bridge, the city is ready to roll out the latest thinking regarding a new outlet from south Glenwood across the Roaring Fork River to Colorado 82.

The city is hosting a public open house for the so-called South Bridge project from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at Sopris Elementary School, 1150 Mount Sopris Drive, in the Glenwood Park neighborhood on the west side of the proposed route.

Various maps and displays will be available for public viewing during the open house starting at 5 p.m. There will be a formal presentation at 6.

The planning process to build a southerly route across the Roaring Fork River providing a direct connection to 82 for the thousands of south Glenwood and Four Mile Road residents and visitors dates back to the Coal Seam Fire in 2002, when the lack of a secondary outlet on that end of town became a safety concern. A congressional earmark in 2005 provided money to plan route options and conduct a federally required environmental assessment.

The city and Garfield County have since been working with the Federal Highway Administration and Colorado Department of Transportation to do the study. The EA was released for public comment on a preferred route and design in late 2013.

Based on input from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority regarding preservation of the Rio Grande Trail corridor for future rail operations, the design was modified to include an at-grade corridor crossing with a new grade-separated highway interchange.

The county has also been working independently to possibly create a new frontage access serving Holy Cross Energy and other properties west of Colorado 82 in an effort to limit highway access points in the vicinity.

While the bridge project has been significantly planned, there’s no dedicated funding to pay the estimated $45 million cost to do a full design, acquire property on the east side of the Roaring Fork River and actually construct it. The city did include the South Bridge among a range of city transportation infrastructure and redevelopment projects to make use of the city’s special Acquisitions and Improvements fund tax, but that would be subject to future appropriation when other outside funding can be identified.

Details about the final design and construction timeframe will be discussed at the Wednesday meeting.

Members of the public may provide written comments on the plans at the meeting, or provide comments by mail or fax to Regina Pretti, City of Glenwood Springs Engineering Department, 101 W. Eighth St., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601; fax 970-945-8582 (attn. Regina Pretti).

Comments can also be provided via email to regina.pretti@cogs.us, or on the project website: http://www.glenwoodsouthbridge.net


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