Avon moves ahead with bridge demolition
The Avon Town Council decided to go ahead with the destruction of a dilapidated bridge between Agave and Sunridge Phase I Oct. 30, in the wake of a wave of comments for and against the demolition from Avon citizenry.”(The Avon government) doesn’t know if there’s any historical significance of the bridge, they haven’t looked into it, and they don’t know the value of having a pedestrian bridge there,” says Avon resident Tamra Underwood. “There are so many angles to this thing. With a little creative thinking we might have a better solution to this issue.”The site has also been earmarked by local kayakers, rafters, and fishermen as one of the prime locations in the valley for a potential water park and fish habitat restoration area. Water parks have had financial impacts of up to $24 million in some Colorado towns.The bridge is privately owned, but town officials say they have a duty to remove it because it is a safety hazard.”The last thing we want to happen is for a child to wander off and hurt himself on the bridge,” says Avon Town Engineer Norm Wood. “Since the owner has not responded, the town will incur the cost of bridge removal. If we cannot recover our costs back from the owner, the property will be acquired by the town through a lien foreclosure process.”The town plans on spending $24,757 on the bridge removal. The cost of moving boulders to create water parks can be as low as $20,000, and the presence of an existing bridge might be able to facilitate the re-structuring of the river bed.The town received several e-mails and phone calls from concerned citizens, prompting Avon Town Manager Larry Brooks to take a straw poll of the Avon Town Council to see if they wanted to stall the directive to destroy the bridge.The council unanimously decided to uphold the directive to destroy the bridge.”We’ve also had many citizens tell us that they want to get rid of the bridge,” says Assistant Town Manager Jacquie Halburnt. “It could collapse, and we certainly don’t want that to happen.”The group of Avon residents opposed to the directive are worried that destruction of the bridge may hamper the process of rebuilding or replacing it, or otherwise improving the area. Underwood has called for the town to close the bridge to pedestrian traffic and look at other possibilities in the meantime.The town is looking at the possibility of replacing the bridge in the future, but no definite plans have been made.