Moffat’s memory muddled
Dean Moffatt and I are getting along in years, which accounts for dimming of our memory banks. This was evident in Dean’s Dec. 27 letter in the Post Independent regarding a new route for Highway 82 through Glenwood Springs (incorrectly labeled a “bypass”). According to Dean, the city asked the state to align Interstate 70 along the river. Wrong. In those days, CDOH (now CDOT) told the people where projects were to be located. At the April 2, 1964, public hearing, only one other alternative had been explored. An alignment going behind the Colorado Hotel was briefly looked at, but an interchange at 6th Street required overly steep grades on the ramps and access road into town.
As Mistake No. 2, Dean incorrectly blamed the pool owners, chamber of commerce, and City Council for the orientation of the main interchange with I-70 above the crossroad. Since no road existed up the railroad corridor, this was the most feasible arrangement.
Mistake No. 3 is described as spending “huge amounts on various studies” on a new location for Highway 82. The largest outlay that I can recall was for the 1979 Centennial Engineering Company’s Glenwood Springs Bypass Study, which was endorsed by the City Council of that time. The study included and rejected the Midland Avenue alternative and cost the city a little over $100,000, peanuts in the current cost environment. The conclusions of that study are just as valid today as they were in 1979.
Dean has been a vocal critic of the location of I-70 from the day it was completed. I have yet to see a drawing of what he would have designed. As a consequence of I-70, the city now has beautiful Two Rivers Park where the old railroad roundhouse used to sit. The river’s edge was barren but now is covered by trees and bushes. And the I-70 right of way west of the Village Inn is beautifully landscaped. At that time, CDOH employed no architects, so this effort was totally controlled by engineers.
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