LETTER: Grand Avenue bridge will be replaced | PostIndependent.com

LETTER: Grand Avenue bridge will be replaced

A Post Independent article on Nov. 6 ran with the headline, “Save Grand Poll: Most want to halt bridge project.” It should be clarified that “most” refers to the preference of the folks choosing to complete the poll — not “most” of Glenwood Springs’ 9,677 residents. The article stated, “City residents who responded to a recent mail poll sent out by the Citizens to Save Grand Avenue, although limited in numbers, voted three-to-one in favor of stopping the current Grand Avenue Bridge replacement project.”

Does this “three to one” provide a good representation of our community’s opinion? Let’s look at the data a different way. The article states 4,200 surveys were sent (it’s not clear if those went to businesses or residences or both). But of those 4,200 surveys sent, nearly 89 percent were either not returned or were marked in favor of the new bridge.

The poll notwithstanding, two things remain unchanged. First, we in Colorado are fortunate to have dedicated funds (per legislation) to repair or replace poor-rated bridges throughout our state. The Grand Avenue Bridge will be replaced — after this fully comprehensive Environmental Assessment is complete — improving safety but not adding capacity. This is not an issue up for a public vote — rather, it is an important safety-improvement project on a vital transportation corridor and we are pleased to have the funding to complete it. Other states do not have this benefit.

Secondly (as we’ve stated before) this bridge project has nothing to do with whether a Colo. Highway 82 alternate route or bypass may be planned and executed, if this is what the community wants. Of all the bypass/alternate route options that have been looked at in past city studies, only one alternative is affected by the Grand Avenue Bridge — and the new bridge actually improves connection with that alternative by lowering the grade at the connection point.

In summary: The Grand Avenue Bridge will be replaced and the bypass discussion, by all means, should continue.

Joe Elsen

CDOT Region 3 Central Program Engineer

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