Roaring Fork bike/ped span among city goals | VailDaily.com

Roaring Fork bike/ped span among city goals

John Stroud
jstroud@postindependent.com
The city of Glenwood Springs is seeking federal mineral lease grant money to help complete a plan to move the soon-to-be-replaced Grand Avenue pedestrian bridge to a new location connecting Midland Avenue across the Roaring Fork River to city land west of Glenwood Springs High School.
John Stroud | Post Independent

The soon-to-be-replaced Grand Avenue pedestrian bridge could soon find a new home spanning the Roaring Fork River near Glenwood Springs High School.

City transportation planners, as part of a draft Long-Range Transportation Plan update, have identified the lack of a connection across the river between the neighborhoods along Midland Avenue and the central part of town as a priority link.

In addition to the possibility of using the existing structure for a separate bicycle and pedestrian bridge connecting city-owned property on either side of the Roaring Fork, a longer-term goal calls for a vehicle bridge across the Roaring Fork in that same vicinity at 14th Street.

The two midtown bridges are included among 52 possible infrastructure and improvement projects identified in the updated master plan, which has been in the works for over a year now.

The plan will be presented and discussed at an open house that’s set for 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 6 in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

This is the first update in 12 years to the city’s 2035 Transportation Plan, which was first developed in 1999 and updated in 2003.

Given some of the major changes that are coming in the local transportation infrastructure, namely the Colorado Department of Transportation’s replacement of the Highway 82/Grand Avenue Bridge, city officials decided it was time to take a new look at improving connectivity around Glenwood Springs.

After CDOT decided to replace the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Colorado River and Interstate 70 along with building a new highway bridge, the question became what to do with the merely 20-year-old structure.

Early suggestions included some other location crossing the Colorado River, until the city’s Transportation Commission began looking at the potential of using it to cross the Roaring Fork.

City Council members, during an August work session with the transportation advisory group, indicated they liked the idea.

The Transportation Commission and other advisory boards, including the city’s River Commission and Parks and Recreation board, have been working over the past several months to pare down a list of 110 possible projects.

A total of 52 infrastructure and transportation network improvements are now contained in the draft plan.

Those projects are broken down into eight different categories, including on- and off-street bicycle and shared bike/pedestrian facilities, new sidewalks, street intersection improvements, new vehicle and ped/bike bridges, and new street connections.

Topping the list are two projects that have already involved a significant amount of planning and engineering — the Eighth Street extension west of City Hall, and the South Bridge project that would give the South Glenwood neighborhoods and the Four Mile corridor a more direct link to state Highway 82.

The South Bridge project alone comes with an estimated price tag of more than $40 million, while the Eighth Street project could cost in the range of $8 million to $12 million.

Another big-ticket project included in the plan would be a bridge from Devereux Road over the railroad tracks to Midland Avenue in the vicinity of the Glenwood Springs Community Center, at an estimated cost of about $23 million.

Another major bridge project included in the plan would be the replacement of the Sunlight Bridge on 27th Street.

A short- and long-term implementation plan that identifies possible funding sources and other strategies is also outlined in the updated document.

The draft Transportation Plan can be viewed at http://www.glenwoodspringstransportationplan.com.


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