South Midland, South Bridge and city streets dominate Glenwood’s virtual town hall discussion

Matthew Bennett/Post Independent

Several residents tuned in for the city of Glenwood Springs’ first virtual town hall meeting Tuesday night.

The live, interactive event allowed participants the opportunity to ask members of city staff about upcoming infrastructure projects planned for Glenwood Springs in 2020.

South Midland
According to City Engineer Terri Partch, the city plans to complete South Midland’s design on April 10, put the project out to bid by August and break ground in November.

“The design of that project is intended to keep two lanes of traffic going at all times,” Partch said. “That’s not to say that we will not have interruptions.”

The 18-month project will reconstruct over a mile’s worth of roadway beginning just south of the Midland Avenue and 27th Street roundabout and continuing just past the Four Mile intersection.

The city did receive a $7 million Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for the South Midland project and one town hall participant asked about the additional administrative burdens that accompany federal grant dollars.

“It is expensive to accept federal or state money,” Partch said citing the additional design work, construction management and increased staffing tied to federal grant dollars. “We are very cautious and conscious of those requirements.”

According to Partch, the city will not apply for any federal or state funding for projects that cost under $1 million to complete.

The South Midland project carries with it an estimated price tag of approximately $12.6 million.

South Bridge
“South Bridge is another project that we are ramping up,” Partch said Tuesday night.

The city hopes to begin construction on South Bridge by 2022 but would need to bridge the project’s multi-million dollar funding gap first.

However, planning for the South Bridge project, which would construct a second critical connection from the west side of the Roaring Fork River to Colorado Highway 82 in south Glenwood Springs, will occur throughout 2020.

“It actually connects some of the utilities we have down there. It completes a water loop. It completes electrical infrastructure across the river,” Matthew Langhorst, Glenwood Springs public works director, said of South Bridge. “It is not just a bridge project, it is actually a utility project also.”

City Streets
Later this spring the city will make significant improvements to the Cedar Crest subdivision’s roadways, drainage and water systems.

“I get comments all the time of ‘when are you going to get to my street? Is it on the list?’” Langhorst said. “Every single street in this city is on our list.”

The final question of Tuesday night’s town hall came from an online participant who inquired as to why the city was not scrapping improvements to Sayre Park and instead using the money for street repairs.

City Manager Debra Figueroa, however, explained that local contributions and park improvement fees were funding Sayre Park’s first phase of improvements.

“Parks are also really important to the majority of our community,” Figueroa said. “We need to figure out how to balance all of our needs.”

The first portion of Tuesday’s town hall included a discussion with Garfield County Public Health and Valley View Hospital officials about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Coverage from that conversation appeared in a separate story in the Post Independent’s Thursday edition.

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