Letter: Let’s agree to disagree about new bridge
In response to Dean Moffatt’s Aug. 29 letter: I’m still willing to be friends, Dean. I’m even trying to keep an open mind regarding the feasibility of building a new Highway 82 route through Glenwood Springs.
I like your suggestion, for instance, of a “small, slow and quiet” bypass that removes traffic from Grand Avenue, enhances recreation and restores the river, along with our community’s health. I’m not sure how to reconcile those seemingly conflicting objectives, but I’m eager to see the plans.
You’re also correct that it’s possible, if we set our minds to it, to shoehorn additional lanes of highway into our narrow valley community. It’s not my vision of what’s best for the Roaring Fork River corridor, but the Glenwood Canyon I-70 project does indeed show what skilled engineers and nearly unlimited funds can accomplish.
The crucial question, however, is whether it’s worth the huge expense, the inevitable environmental and social impacts, and the foregone opportunities to preserve and protect the river corridor, while redeveloping the confluence area and improving local traffic circulation.
Meanwhile, can we agree that a decade of efforts to block the replacement of the outdated Grand Avenue bridge have done little, thus far, to revive plans for a bypass?
Let’s agree to disagree about the new bridge. You see it as misspent funds that could help to jump-start a bypass. While it’s clearly a compromise design, I think it’ll be much safer and more functional. I also think CDOT deserves thanks for considering community input during the planning process.
Lastly, how about conceding that downtown Glenwood Springs is not actually dying a horrible, traffic-choked death? When I’m downtown these days I see a restaurant renaissance along Seventh Street. I see convenient new parking that makes it easy to get out of your car and walk. I see a bustling farmers market, a beautiful new library, expanded CMC offices and new businesses along Cooper Avenue. If traffic, and the prospect of a new bridge, is killing the downtown, you certainly wouldn’t know it from all the activity and new investment.
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