Letter: New bridge means havoc for Glenwood
I disagree with the conclusions of the Post Independent, Gov. Hickenlooper, CDOT and director Don Hunt, all the governments of Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties and especially the Glenwood Springs City Council.
As a lifelong resident of Glenwood Springs, I wish to remind people that Glenwood Springs was a robust destination resort when Aspen was a ghost town. As Aspen became the place in Western America to display your intellectual and financial success, it grew. The social costs of Aspen’s prosperity are flushed down to the communities below. Aspen requires many workers and tradesmen and has little housing for them. This load each day from downvalley to Aspen and back in the evening causes a gridlock on Grand Avenue and filters through our residential neighborhoods.
For at least 30 years, CDOT has been aware of the traffic problems on our Grand Avenue. The solution was to nibble away at the fronts of homes and businesses that line Grand Avenue. CDOT has spent somewhere between a half billion to a billion dollars in building a four lane highway to Aspen, a dead end. All this effort without doing anything about the constriction of traffic passing through 20 blocks of the historic townsite of Glenwood Springs. I think CDOT and Mr. Don Hunt are guilty of malfeasance.
We citizens beat an attempt some years ago to build a new bridge knowing it would end any effort to build a bypass. Today Glenwood’s city government and City Council are particularly weak, and present CDOT with a ripe opportunity for a new bridge. The citizens of Glenwood who live in the historic townsite have no friends in government. It is difficult to have a viable community with 27,000 cars and trucks passing through the core each day.
The new bridge will make the pass through Glenwood seconds faster in three years, but it will cause havoc to our citizens, tourists and businesses. The 20-block route through the town core will not change much, so today’s congestion will be there when the bridge is completed, except the traffic will increase in volume.
Our only defense, as citizens, is to accept CDOT director Don Hunt’s challenge and tell CDOT to build a bridge in some other deserving community. Let us not accept this attempt to mask 30 years of planning and budget errors with a non-solution solution.
So stand in the way of the new bridge until something concrete has been done to build a bypass.
“They brought death to our hometown boys, death to our hometown.”
— Bruce Springsteen
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