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It is good that the potential improvements to the Los Alamos Golf Course are being discussed by all, but we need to make sure that the options and alternatives make sense. The walking trail bridge, for example, is an option that doesn’t seem to make sense for any of the users.
Presently, the options have been narrowed down to two. Alternative 1 stays within the existing golf course boundary and footprint.
Alternative 2 expands the boundary over some of the existing trails. Both alternatives call for moving the walking trail bridge to a new location with a major redesign at a cost of about a quarter-million dollars.
Right now the bridge in its present location is just a simple wood structure about twenty-two feet long.
In Alternative 1 the walking trail bridge would not be a part of the golf course nor would it be within the proposed golf course boundary. No plans are mentioned in Alternative 1 for golfers to use the proposed new bridge to cross a canyon which is outside the golf course footprint.
This alternative mentions that the bridge would “ ... facilitate easier access to bottom of canyon ”. I am unsure how the bridge would facilitate access to the canyon bottom or why the planners assume that access to the bottom is desired at that point. Trail users have been happily going around the canyon end for decades.
Alternative 2 goes outside the current golf course footprint in the area of the bridge, and calls for a new hole located across the canyon. In this plan the relocated bridge would be used for golfers and carts to access the new hole after hitting the ball across the canyon.
Trail users would have to share the trail with golfers, since the golf course would be extended across the trail and across the bridge to the new area across the bridge.
So in either alternative a quarter-million dollar bridge would be built. However, under Alternative #1 golfers would not use it and hikers would not need it. So I wonder why not just delete the bridge in Alternative 1 and save a quarter million dollars? Or is the bridge included in Alternative 1 to make the two plans closer in cost? (This would make it easier to persuade the County to choose Alternative 2.)
If you have concerns about the safety or desirability of golfers and trail users overlapping, or the golf course extending beyond its current footprint, you can see the details by going to the Los Alamos County website and clicking on Projects, after which you should click on Golf Course Improvement Study, then click on click here. (Be aware that the wording in Alternative #1 is not clear; it could be taken to imply that the quarter-million dollar bridge already exists.)
Meetings where the improvement plan is on the agenda include:
Parks & Recreation Board on Feb. 29 at 5:30 in Pajarito Room at Fuller Lodge. The Ashley Pond issue will be discussed first, followed by the Golf Club Project. CIP Oversight Committee on Mar. 6 at 5:15 in Council Chambers at the Community Building.
Helen J. Dahlby