Letter: More tax money for bridge
I refer to the article in Saturday, Sept. 3, Post Independent “More grant funding sought for 7th Street Plaza construction.”
So if I understand correctly, the $126 million for the new Grand Avenue bridge does not include money for the clean-up. Instead we are looking to get “grant money” and supplement it with an additional $1.8 million of our tax money, in addition to the already-committed $3.3 million for the construction of the new pedestrian bridge. This was an essential part of the project in order to relocate and support the utilities that currently occupy the existing road bridge before its demolition.
So we, the taxpayers, are to foot the bill for the clean-up on Seventh Street and to restore it to what it was before construction started, albeit enhanced at an estimated cost of more than $3 million. Similarly, on the other side of the Colorado River and at the Two Rivers Park are we next going to be asked to provide even more money to clear up the disarray presently created by CDOT?
When our city staff and elected representatives negotiated with CDOT, did they not demand that the project included restoration of damaged and spoiled public land and space? We all saw those wonderful pictures and artists’ impressions of how nice it would be once the bridge was completed. At the many public presentations we were shown how the replacement of the bridge would enhance the areas impacted by the construction work and would improve the aesthetics of the downtown. At no time was it ever stated or even suggested that our additional taxpayers’ money would be needed.
Today Glenwood Springs is just a very untidy construction site with piles of earth and rocks littering the sides of our roads, a muddy mess in our park and still more to come with the Eighth Street extension including the closure of the Eighth Street bridge for 10 days.
I don’t think anyone imagined the extent of the disruption in so many different parts of our town, I-70 exits 114 and 116, closure of other roads in addition to the construction debris (rocks, machinery, etc.) now occupying our streets and parks. Can someone tell me that my perception is wrong and that the call for our additional tax funding was always in the budget for this major project, or has there been some miscalculation of the costs over and above the contingency budget line?
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