Voice of Grand Avenue bridge project, Tom Newland, headed to new land | AspenTimes.com

Voice of Grand Avenue bridge project, Tom Newland, headed to new land

Alex Zorn
Citizen Telegram

When Tom Newland started working in the Roaring Fork Valley in the 1980s it was as a planning engineer for Pitkin County.

Over the years, as a private project manager, he has served in various contract capacities for the Colorado Department of Transportation on the Colorado Highway 82 corridor, including as public information officer for Glenwood's Grand Avenue paving project in the mid-2000s and most recently the Grand Avenue Bridge project.

Now, with the new bridge up and running he's moving to Jackson, Wyoming, to help ease the growing mountain town's transportation demands.

That's just as he's done in the valley for years.

"It's a growing town, and transportation is becoming an increasing concern," Newland said of Jackson.

Newland will start a new position in Teton County that will work to implement the town's Integrated Transportation Plan, drafted in 2015.

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The Jackson/Teton County Integrated Transportation Plan was drafted to meet the community's future transportation demand through the use of alternative modes. Newland thinks his work on the Grand Avenue Bridge Project and involvement in creating the Rio Grande Trail will give him the perfect experience to help out.

Newland was executive director for the Roaring Fork Railroad Holding Authority, the intergovernmental agency that purchased the former Rio Grande rail line and managed it before turning it over to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.

As one of the main voices for the Western Slope's largest public infrastructure project in 25 years, the $135 million Grand Avenue Bridge, Newland helped to ensure that the public was involved every step of the way.

He sees the need for more public involvement and input to be implemented in the Jackson Hole project.

As he put it, he wants to bring the public out of the bleachers and onto the field.

During the bridge project, his monthly column for the Post Independent always provided insight and first-person accounts of what locals should expect.

He doesn't yet know if he will write a monthly column for the Jackson Hole newspapers, but remains open to the idea.