Pack Creek pathway and bridge to close Aug. 7
by Rudy Herndon
Staff Writer
Jul 17, 2014 | 3515 views | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A notice posted last week by Moab city notifies the public that this bridge across Pack Creek will be removed on Aug. 7. The announcement came after a property owner informed the city that it would no longer allow public access to an adjoining pathway. Photo by Rudy Herndon
A notice posted last week by Moab city notifies the public that this bridge across Pack Creek will be removed on Aug. 7. The announcement came after a property owner informed the city that it would no longer allow public access to an adjoining pathway. Photo by Rudy Herndon
In the six or seven months since she moved to Moab, Pam Robertson says an unnamed bridge that runs across Pack Creek near CarQuest Auto Parts has become one of her favorite spots in town. And every day, she meets others who value it as much as she does.

Some residents of the Mountain View subdivision use the bridge as a shortcut to reach City Market, Walker Drug and other businesses along South Main Street. Others follow an adjoining pathway down to the bridge just to relax in a quiet and peaceful setting.

Robertson counts herself among both groups of bridge visitors. So when she found out last week that the city of Moab plans to remove the bridge on Aug. 7, she launched a petition and word-of-mouth campaign to save it.

“If there’s anything I can do, I want to do it,” she said July 11.

The city of Moab built the bridge and adjoining pathway in the 1980s under a revocable agreement with St. Francis Episcopal Church and La Sal Oil Co.

However, La Sal Oil recently gave the city 30 days’ notice that it is revoking public access to the footpath, which runs beyond the bridge and past CarQuest.

“The way that the agreement was written, they have the complete prerogative to do that,” Moab City Manager Donna Metzler told the city council on July 8.

Metzler says that city officials are currently working to find another potential route across the creek.

“We plan to pursue other options,” she said.

But La Sal Oil owner Ray Klepzig says he sees no need to get rid of the existing bridge.

In the week since the city announced the pending closure, Klepzig has been hearing from pathway users who hold him responsible for the city’s decision. But Klepzig says he’s not to blame.

“I didn’t tell them to close the bridge. I just told them to close the trail,” he said July 16.

Klepzig says he may or may not sell his property, and he maintains that continued public access through his land poses a problem.

“They can’t keep going across mine because it cuts my property right in half,” Klepzig said.

But he believes that pedestrians and bicyclists could continue to use the existing bridge, as long as the city moved the pathway onto nearby properties that Zions Bank or others own.

“Zions may say no, they don’t want people to cross their property, either,” Klepzig said.

That option and other potential alternatives are worth pursuing, he said.

Rochelle Gardner lives at a nearby apartment complex, and she doesn’t understand why the city would go to the expense of building a new bridge.

“They have all of this asphalt and concrete and a pedestrian crosswalk, and it leads straight here,” Gardner said.

If the city can’t find another route across Pack Creek by Aug. 7, Robertson isn’t sure how easily Mountain View-area pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to get around.

“I don’t know what would happen,” she said. “I’ve never gone another route.”

As it happens, Robertson is moving to another part of town, so the pending closure won’t affect her ability to get from place to place.

But Gardner said the change will be an inconvenience for her.

“I don’t have a vehicle, so this is a really direct route because I have to carry my groceries and everything,” Gardner said.

Jeff Jensen, who is in town visiting his father, says he uses the route three to four times a week. If the bridge is closed, he thinks it will take him twice as long to reach City Market on foot.

“It just sucks because it cuts down the time it takes to go to the store by half,” Jensen said.

Other pathway users sped right past Robertson last week as she tried to fill them in on the pending closure. But she kept at it, determined to give it her all.

“If it falls on deaf ears, that’s not my fault,” she said.

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