Glenwood Springs South Bridge Environmental Assessment
The 2002 Coal Seam Fire forced the evacuation of areas south and west of Glenwood Springs impacting more than 3,000 residents. A Federal Earmark for a South Bridge project was requested by Garfield County and awarded in 2005. In 2007, the City and County began an environmental assessment for the project.
The purpose of the South Bridge Project is to provide a critical second access between SH 82 and the western side of the Roaring Fork River in the south Glenwood Springs area. This new route would improve emergency evacuation, emergency service access, and local land use access.
This secondary access would respond to the previous 2005 congressional earmark for the Glenwood Springs South Bridge (new, off-system bridge), Public Law 109-59, 109th Congress.
Current Status of the Environmental Assessment
The Environmental Assessment (EA)) for the South Bridge Project was released for public comment in October 2013. The EA evaluated two alternatives in detail: 1) No Action Alternative and 2) Alternative 10b (the Preferred Alternative). To address Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) concerns to preserve the corridor for future rail operations, the Preferred Alternative design was revisited and modified in 2016-2017 to include a new interchange with SH 82, which was presented at an August 2017 public meeting.
In 2018, more detailed survey, mapping, and design were performed showing that the new SH 82 interchange would have higher costs and impacts than originally estimated. The City and RFTA then evaluated an approach to the project design to reduce project costs and preserve the corridor for future rail use. It was agreed that the City will proceed with the original Preferred Alternative 10b evaluated in the EA (with certain minor design modifications, such as adding a new frontage road east of SH 82). If RFTA identifies the need to implement rail service in the future, the City will make necessary changes to accommodate rail service at the South Bridge connection.
March 8, 2019 - Press Release: Public Meeting - South Bridge Project
Please attend the South Bridge Public Meeting on March 20, 2019
The South Bridge Project
Previous Public Meetings
A public hearing was held on November 13, 2013. The purpose of the public hearing was as follows:
- Present the findings in the Environmental Assessment (EA)
- Provide details about the proposed project
- Present impacts to environmental and community resources
- Present proposed mitigation to minimize any impacts
A public meeting was held on August 2, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sopris Elementary School Gymnasium, 1150 Mt. Sopris Drive, Glenwood Springs, Colorado to present the background of the project; changes made to the Preferred Alternative design after the Environmental Assessment (EA) was issued in 2013; next steps, including completion of the EA process, final design, and construction timeframe; and obtain public comments.The presentation given on that night can be viewed on the link below.