By: Len Denton
The Georgetown Neighborhood Alliance (the Alliance) has issued a new position paper on the Austin Avenue Bridges Project, which strongly urges the Georgetown City Council to eliminate two of the four options that the City is considering for the bridges. Specifically, the Alliance urges the Council to eliminate Option 1 (Do Nothing) and Option 4 (Replace the bridges) from their list of options.
About the Austin Avenue Bridges Project
The City of Georgetown has launched Austin Avenue Bridges Project, a study of the Austin Avenue traffic corridor, which includes the two historic Austin Avenue bridges crossing the San Gabriel River. The purpose of the study is to determine the future disposition of these bridges as part of the corridor’s future needs. The City’s planning staff is currently evaluating four options regarding the Austin Avenue bridges. These are:
- Do nothing to the bridges
- Do short-term repairs (this will not extend the useful life of the bridges)
- Do longer-term repairs (this will extend the useful life of the bridges)
- Replace the bridges
About the Position Paper
The following excerpt is the Executive Summary of the position paper. To read the complete position paper, visit alliancegeorgetown.org/bridges-paper.
Executive Summary – The City of Georgetown has reached a critical juncture in its ongoing study of options to repair or replace the historic Austin Avenue bridges that span the San Gabriel River immediately north of the Downtown Square retail district.
Recently completed engineering and forensic studies show that both bridges, although in need of long-overdue repairs, are safe and structurally sound. According to these studies, proper repairs will extend the functional life of the bridges by several decades, preserving these historically significant structures for future generations. Furthermore, construction of new bridges would require the complete closure of Austin Avenue for an extended period (possibly 24-36 months), resulting in potentially devastating impact to the Downtown Square retail district.
Given the strong evidence of a safe and viable repair option, coupled with the potential damage that construction disruption would cause to the Downtown Square, the Georgetown Neighborhood Alliance strongly urges the Georgetown City Council to exclusively adopt a strategy to repair the Austin Avenue bridges. The Alliance recommends that the Council eliminate Option 1 (Do Nothing) and Option 4 (Replace the bridges) from the City’s plans.
Note: The complete position paper, with full supporting documentation, can be found at alliancegeorgetown.org/bridges-paper.
Len Denton is a member/volunteer at the Alliance. He is the Alliance representative to the Austin Avenue Bridges Project.