Letter: Time to improve Two Rivers Park
Two Rivers Park is one of Glenwood Springs’ most heavily used public amenities, attracting crowds of locals and tourists to the free Summer of Music concerts and hosting other special events throughout the year. It offers facilities for baseball and skateboarding, a children’s playground and bike paths connecting to Aspen and the Vail Valley. It also offers picnic tables and shelters, bathrooms, barbecue grills and nearly 20 acres of landscaped lawns and shade trees, not to forget the memorial to 14 firefighters who lost their lives in the 1994 Storm King Mountain fire.
Most importantly, Two Rivers Park provides an ideal location for thousands of boaters, rafters, fishermen, pedestrians, pet owners and others to directly experience the Colorado River — one of the West’s most-loved and mighty rivers.
Although there is much to love about Two Rivers Park, there also are serious shortcomings, including an often crowded, under-sized boat ramp and a steep, eroding shoreline littered with broken concrete, rebar and scrap metal that makes it difficult to reach most of the river’s edge except by boat.
The city has been discussing possible improvements to Two Rivers Park since at least 2014. But when an initial plan went out for bid last January, it attracted only a single $4.7 million bid. When a scaled-back plan was re-bid in July, however, multiple bidders helped to drive the expected project cost down to about $2.9 million. That includes: an expanded boat ramp with nearby bathrooms; shoreline restoration between the boat ramp and the Rio Grande Trail pedestrian bridge; a new River Trail along that same section of river.
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City Council is scheduled to vote this Thursday (9/19) on whether to fund the revised Two Rivers Park improvement plans. I’m strongly in favor of proceeding with this long-awaited project, and encourage councilors to do so without further delay.
Yes, funds are limited and there are still lots of streets and bridges to repair. But it’s also important to maintain and improve recreation amenities like Two Rivers Park, which can make us healthier, happier and safer.
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