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Road decision requested

The Colorado Department of Transportation is urging Glenwood Springs officials to quickly decide where a new Midland Avenue extension could intersect with Highway 82. That decision could be made Thursday at Glenwood Springs City Council’s regular meeting. The extension, if it’s ever built, would veer off the current Airport Road alignment, go around or through what’s now the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport, cross the Roaring Fork River on what is commonly referred to as South Bridge, and hit Highway 82. The decision on where the road would hit Highway 82 is critical for CDOT so it can begin to design a new, safer Red Canyon Road-Highway 82 intersection.”We need to make some decision, because they want to get into the design phases,” Glenwood Springs City Councilman Dave Merritt said. CDOT plans to spend $1.5 million to realign the Red Canyon intersection. The agency is planning to move the intersection to the south. CDOT has no plans to fund a Midland Avenue intersection. But if the new Red Canyon entrance is placed directly across from the designated area for a future Midland Avenue intersection, that spot could eventually operate as a four-way intersection with traffic lights. CDOT wants a decision from City Council by January. “Budget money may be available as early as 2006 for the CDOT portion,” according to a new report prepared by the Glenwood Springs Ad Hoc Airport Committee. The location of the rest of the road alignment and placement of the bridge are still in the planning stages and will be discussed in later meetings.The Ad Hoc Airport Committee’s report recommends that the intersection be located at or around the property line that divides the Holy Cross Electric Association complex and Dr. Carter Jackson’s property. “Dr. Jackson has expressed acceptance to allow the new Midland connector to run along his north property line with Holy Cross,” the report said. The committee’s recommendation is for the intersection only and “does not necessarily force alignment of Midland across, under or around the airport,” the report said. The report does, however, touch on three possible road alignments: 1. Around the south end of the airport.2. Across the airport and rodeo grounds.3. Under the airport runway in a tunnel. In addition to looking at possible alignments for a Midland Avenue extension, the Ad Hoc Airport Committee is also looking into the best use for the land where the airport is now located. The decision has been narrowed to three options: keeping it an airport, using it for residential and commercial development, or using the land for a school. There will be a meeting to gather public input on possible airport uses on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Council will also consider three appeals of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation that City Council approve a special use permit for a bank drive-thru. The appeals pertain to a WestStar Bank and office building proposed to be built at the corner of Grand Avenue and Park Drive. ALSO ON COUNCIL’s AGENDA:-A 5 p.m. work session on the progress of the confluence area study and plans for 8th Street. -The Community Broadband Network. -Improvements to the Pioneer Cemetery. -Three alternatives for downtown Fire Station No. 2.-A bid for the wastewatercentrifuge installation.The Glenwood Springs City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19, at City Hall, 101 W. 8th St.


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