Letter: Misinformation about bridge project
There is a lot of misinformation about the Grand Avenue Bridge project that needs to be dispelled. First, that the present bridge is dangerous because it might collapse, and because the lanes are too narrow. If the bridge was in danger of collapse, CDOT would have posted load limits — which it has not. There have been virtually no accidents attributable to the lane width, which actually helps keep traffic from exceeding the 25-mph speed limit.
Second, that since no money is currently available for the alternate route and there is no citizen agreement on where to locate it, we have to replace the present bridge. Replacing the bridge will not relieve the Grand Avenue/Highway 82 traffic congestion — only an alternate route can do that. Money for that is not presently available for a number of reasons, but over time additional funds will have to be allocated to meet Colorado’s transportation needs — one of which is another route through Glenwood Springs. Where that route will be located will not be decided by a public opinion poll, but will be determined by an Environmental Impact Statement completed by a team of professionals, which will select a preferred location based on a comparison of costs, environmental, social and economic impacts. That EIS is a prerequisite for any federal funding.
It has been claimed that by taking the heavy traffic off Sixth Street, the new bridge will benefit it by turning it into a pedestrian-friendly area. Wouldn’t diverting that same traffic from Grand Avenue (instead of perpetuating it) do the same thing for our downtown? A new bridge over Grand Avenue from Seventh to Eighth streets will not have the appeal of the Seventh Street project, it will have all the ambiance of a tunnel.
The Grand Avenue bridge project as currently being touted will not be a shot in the arm for Glenwood Springs, but will more like a shot in the head. Instead, we need to shelve this bridge replacement plan and commence work on an EIS to come up with a real solution to our growing traffic problems.
chairman, Citizens to Save Grand Avenue
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