Letter: Bridge plan doesn’t address needs
Observations on the Grand Avenue bridge environmental assessment:
1. EA vs. EIS — The bridge does more than link downtown with north Glenwood as claimed for justification of a new bridge. It links I-70 with the Roaring Fork Valley and therefore NEPA requires a full EIS.
2. Alternatives — No alternatives to replacing the bridge were seriously studied. No previous alternatives or options were cited or discussed.
3. No serious discussion of a relocated SH-82.
4. Detours during construction — No analysis of impacts to residential neighborhood streets by truck and auto traffic.
5. No details of impacts to businesses, schools and government facilities and functions.
6. No details of impacts to commuters traveling up and down the valley during rush hours.
7. No discussion of recently released projections of traffic increases on SH-82 through Glenwood.
8. No details to possible impacts to the river hot springs.
9. No details to possible impacts to the river fishery.
10. No details to destruction of the riverbed by “causeway” roads in the river.
11. Project cost – Compared to other bridge replacements the cost is very high, partly due to moveable sections and components.
12. “Relocation of SH-82 would cost 5-10 times the proposed bridge.” This is pure conjecture with no supporting data.
Comment: A replacement bridge downstream would cost far less and greatly reduce the impacts to the town and valley by replacing the existing Grand Avenue bridge. A downstream bridge would tie directly to interchange 116 and set the stage for an eventual SH-82 alternate route. Given the state’s economic situation this is far more achievable and a better long-range solution.
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