South Bridge project $30 million short after FEMA grant falls through
Glenwood Springs’ FEMA grant application requesting nearly $30 million to fund the South Bridge project was deemed ineligible, which means city staff and elected officials are back to the drawing board in search of other funding avenues.
The city’s grant application was deemed ineligible for funding, according to FEMA’s website listing the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant applications.
Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes said the city will continue to apply for any grants available while attempting to engage Garfield County commissioners for an equal funding commitment to the $56 million project.
“We’ll continue to work with our wonderful Congressional delegation to advocate for this,” Godes said.
“While we’re very disappointed in this decision, it’s a grant application, and nothing is guaranteed.”
Godes said the city will also be applying for federal and state infrastructure funds with the help of the state’s Congressional delegation.
Had the FEMA grant been approved, construction on South Bridge could’ve started as early as Spring 2022, Godes said.
“Without that funding, we’re still nearly $30 million short on this project,” Godes said.
“Until we get the funding commitment from some or several entities — whether it be local with the county, the state or federal government — once we have that commitment we’re probably six months away in an ideal world from shovels in the ground.”
Godes said every wildfire season without South Bridge is a roll of the dice, with homes and lives at risk of being lost.
Glenwood Springs City spokesperson Bryana Starbuck said the city is confident that the support from elected officials and state leadership will strengthen the case for other funding opportunities.
“The South Bridge Project remains the City Council’s top infrastructure priority because of its vital importance to protecting the lives of both city and county residents,” Starbuck said.
Starbuck added that the city has requested feedback on the FEMA application.
“We have not yet heard back, but every grant application process garners new insights that we are able to utilize in future applications,” Starbuck said.
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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