Threading of fiber optic lines begins |

Threading of fiber optic lines begins

The installation of fiber for Glenwood Springs’ new fiber optics project began Tuesday and the network should be ready to go online by May.

The $1.5 million project began at the city’s new Municipal Operations Center, and will eventually form two rough loops – one around West Glenwood and one around the downtown area, forming a jagged figure-8. A “tail” off the loops will hook up customers in the southern reaches of the city.

The first leg of fiber pulling – which consists of pulling the actual dark fiber through already-existing conduit – will go from the city’s new Municipal Operations Center, located off Midland Avenue, to the West Glenwood area.

Future phases will be announced as they happen, said John Hines, line superintendent of the Glenwood Springs Electric System.

“We’ll post it in the paper so people will be aware of what’s going on,” Hines said.

In general, Hines said, the project is on track.

“So far I’ve gotten a lot of good input from the citizenry,” he said.

There was a short delay when the project, originally granted to local contractor Utilicon, was reawarded to California-based Manual Brothers. Hines said the delay was minor.

City manager Mike Copp said that in a meeting with Utilicon, representatives from the Carbondale-based company expressed some cost and safety concerns. As a result, both the city and the company agreed it was best to reaward the contract to the second-lowest bidder, Manual Brothers.

The project will be funded from the city’s electric company funds, meaning there will be no need for borrowing money, Copp said.

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