South Bridge over first hurdle |

South Bridge over first hurdle

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill Friday that could provide $6.5 million in funding for a bridge south of the city.

Third District Congressman Scott McInnis was instrumental in getting the bridge funding included in the $275 billion House Transportation reauthorization bill. The bill passed the House 357-65, McInnis spokesman Blair Jones said.

The Glenwood Springs bridge project is now ranked 43 out of 2,800 projects, but the money isn’t quite in hand yet.

The next step is a conference where the House of Representatives meets with the U.S. Senate to see how their two versions of the bill fit together. Funding for the bridge is not included in the Senate’s version of the bill.

“We’re optimistic,” Jones said on Friday. “The big hurdle, of course, was getting it included in the bill, then getting it passed through the House. We’re optimistic, and we’re going to keep pushing.”

If final approval is given, the bridge money would be available for fiscal years 2004 through 2009.

The bridge is viewed as an alternate evacuation route for residents in the south side of the city and those who live up Four Mile Road. It also could help ease congestion in the city by providing another way across the Roaring Fork River.

McInnis has been pushing to get funding for the project ever since the Coal Seam Fire burned the western part of the city in 2002.

He and then-Mayor Don Vanderhoof discussed the necessity of a bridge to avoid what could be a catastrophe for people in that area.

It would connect Highway 82 with Airport Road, crossing the Roaring Fork River just east of the city airport.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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