Letter: New bridge affords opportunities
As 2014 ends, I wonder what the next few years will bring for our city. Since this is the time of year we all reflect upon what has happened and make plans for the future, this gets me to thinking about what amazing opportunities the city has for new projects — the City Council and city staff have a lot of decisions in front of them. They can’t tackle them all at the same time, they will have to prioritize, no doubt.
My involvement and commitment in the last three years has been to the Grand Avenue bridge process. I’ve watched it ebb and flow like all large complex projects. There were times I felt some doubt about the process itself, but as I continued to meet my commitment I saw results. Results that the Stakeholders Working Group (SWG), Project Leadership Team (PLT) and the Project Working Group (PWG) were arriving at through a honest vetting process.
We debated, questioned and cross-checked each other and ourselves. We challenged CDOT; there were situations they had room to give and other times they were beholden to NEPA regulations or budget constraints. Collectively our deliberations produced the Grand Avenue bridge plans and Environmental Assessment (EA) you have seen. It does not meet everyone’s expectations — there will never be a plan, an EA/EIS or project that ever does; we all know that.
I support the Grand Avenue Bridge project because it will:
• Be safer.
• Give us a more welcoming city entryway.
• Provide more pedestrian and bike opportunities.
• Produce more real estate for development in multiple locations i.e., under the bridge, Sixth Street and Seventh Street.
• Create yet another “village center” of commerce in north Glenwood along Sixth Street complementary to downtown Grand Avenue on the south side of the bridge.
As I look to 2015 and beyond, I see our city taking advantage of the current Grand Avenue bridge project and working diligently to ensure we build for growth in the most appropriate ways.
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