Midland-82 bridge plans go south
GSPI Managing Editor
Plans for building a new south bridge in Glenwood Springs are on hold until 2010 or later.
A drop in state funding for regional transportation projects, and the lack of funding and a design for the project from local governments, led the Colorado Department of Transportation to shelve the project for this decade.
“We have postponed that project indefinitely,” said Karen Rowe, resident engineer for CDOT in Glenwood Springs.
The bridge over the Roaring Fork River and connecting roadways from South Midland Avenue to Highway 82 were intended to be a joint project between the city of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County and CDOT.
The city and county were to build the bridge and roadways, and CDOT was to build a new interchange where the roadway met Highway 82, near Buffalo Valley.
Now, CDOT has pushed design work on the interchange to 2010 or later, and funding for construction would come after that, Rowe said.
Her announcement came Monday in a meeting between CDOT’s top Region III officials and the Garfield County commissioners.
“Because the city and county are not ready to do a bridge and roadway, we didn’t want to build an interchange for a road that’s not there,” she said.
City and county officials have already conceded that the south bridge project is on hold.
Design for the project is difficult because the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport lies across the natural route for the road and bridge. City voters have said the airport should remain open.
A consultant hired by the city lined out a good route that would loop south of the runway, but the cost of that route would be almost as much as tunneling under the runway, Rowe said.
Meanwhile, the estimated $7 million cost to build the bridge spooked local officials, who see no way of finding that amount of money for the project.
Other projects are still in the works, Rowe said.
CDOT is letting bids for a repaving project to be done from April to October on Interstate 70 from the Garfield-Mesa county line to Rifle.
The project calls for heating and remixing the top two inches of the existing asphalt and topping it with another two inches of new asphalt.
County Commissioner Larry McCown noted that the stretch sees a lot of accidents because of bumps in the roadway.
That’s because that stretch of the highway crosses a million-year-old lake bed, said Weldon Allen, CDOT maintenance superintendent for the area.
“It would cost millions to bridge those areas,” Allen said.
“It’s not worth the cost for a long-term fix,” Rowe said. “You could overlay the highway quite a few times for that cost.”
“Spring is the worst,” Allen said. “You’ll notice that one of the first places we patch each year is the Parachute area.”
Contact Heather McGregor: 945-8515, ext. 517
Square yards of potholes patched: 1,242
Gallons of crack sealant applied: 1,149
Tons of asphalt laid: 4,019
Culverts cleaned out: 499
Cubic yards of trash picked up: 2,487
Roadside trees trimmed: 2,409
Acres of weeds sprayed: 174
Feet of guardrail repaired: 2,162
Bridges inspected: 180
Feet of repaired expansion joints: 131
Miles of snow plowing: 63,396
Hours spent controlling ice: 303
Source: CDOT maintenance supervisor Adam Padilla
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