Letter: Protect Confluence, examine bypass routes | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Protect Confluence, examine bypass routes

Russ Arensman
Glenwood Springs

Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear during last week’s wide-ranging conversation with the Post Independent’s editorial board. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest, as reported in Tuesday’s article about City Council candidates, that I am “adamant that the river corridor should be avoided as a potential [Highway 82 relocation] route at all costs.”

Indeed, I have said consistently since before I left the City Council in 2011 that at least the southern end of the river corridor is likely the only route that makes sense as a new highway route through the city.

What I’ve also said (and perhaps this was the source of confusion) is that I am strongly opposed to seeing a future highway route through the Confluence area, which I believe has a much higher and better use as a site for park and public use, as well as mixed-use development, including restaurants, retail and housing, perhaps even a small hotel. Now that we’ve finally relocated the city’s sewage treatment plant away from there, the Confluence is a jewel in the rough just waiting to be polished into a one-of-a-kind riverside gathering place for visitors and locals alike.

The good news is, several other alignments have been studied that don’t require putting a highway interchange through the middle of the Confluence area. I still have serious reservations about the feasibility and affordability of this or any other new highway alignment, but if elected, I’m willing to listen to and consider all our options.

Meantime, I think it’s high time for the city to start talking again about where, whether and how a relocated Highway 82 alignment makes sense for Glenwood Springs.


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