Bridge Reconstruction Project To Pose Traffic Problems

By Matt Kroschel

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents and visitors in Glenwood Springs are bracing for what is sure to be traffic gridlock for several months as crews tackle a massive bridge reconstruction project.

The Grand Avenue Bridge project is the largest infrastructure project on Colorado’s Western Slope in 25 years. Now, in the third phase of this five-phase project, crews are working to replace the more than five-decade-old traffic bridge.

bridge Bridge Reconstruction Project To Pose Traffic Problems

(credit: CBS)

When the current bridge is closed this August all traffic will be detoured to other routes to cross the Colorado River.

Colorado Department of Transportation is warning people if they can’t get traffic counts down by 35 percent, delays along the detour route could be counted in hours, not minutes.

“This is a community that is not used to seeing those higher volumes of traffic,” said Tracy Trulove, CDOT Communications Manager.

The bridge is the only year-round route in and out of Aspen and is used by thousands of commuters every day.

“It’ really probably the only way to get in and out when (Highway 82) is not open,” Trulove said.

glenwood springs Bridge Reconstruction Project To Pose Traffic Problems

(credit: CBS)

Major concerns about getting ambulances and other emergency services through the area to the hospital have been raised.

CDOT officials continue to ask people to limit their driving and cut back the number of vehicles passing through the area, so far that has not happened.

“What’s going to happen is that all that traffic that is kind of been split between Midland Avenue and Highway 82 is going to only be on Midland Avenue,” Trulove said.

Watch Drone4 video of the construction which was captured on Tuesday:

The agency provided this handout with what to expect during that difficult phase of this project.

PHASE 4:

Construction during Phase 4 (August 2017 – December 2017) will include the following:

  • Construct north causeway down to river for piers and have ready for construction starting August 15th
  • Vehicle bridge demo will start at pier near 7th Street and work north and south; construct remaining portion of bridge to open as quickly as possible; will open once it is safe to have traveling public on bridge
  • Install any remaining drainage during shutdown
  • Excavate, shore & construct sections of walls not constructed in phase 2
  • Reconstruct Grand Avenue north and south of bridge; open to traffic as soon as it is ready
  • Hot Springs Pool parking lot: regrade, place base, install curb & gutter, pave, prepare to open to public when completed

Expected traffic and pedestrian impacts during Phase 4 are as follows:

  • Pedestrian access: SH82 to 6th Street– through pedestrian tunnel with some switches for the road construction; across I-70, Colorado River & UPRR – on new ped bridge; 7th Street – sidewalk will be closed underneath bridge on both sides of road
  • Hot Springs Pool parking lot closed for staging materials as well as completion of north abutment removal and parking lot re-construction.
  • River street will be closed, will have cul-de-sac near east end of parking lot for turn-around of vehicles to the Hot Springs Pool
  • 6th Street, Laurel Street, will be open in reduced lanes so we can construct the new interchange, we plan on one lane in each direction for duration of shutdown. There will be significantly less traffic in this area during the bridge shutdown/detour phase of the project.
  • I-70 Eastbound – will need to take down to one lane for installation of some items and work but should be mostly open; nightly closures for bridge demolition; westbound – open in existing configuration with nightly closures for bridge demolition
  • 7th Street will be closed at the streets east and west of Grand Avenue for duration
  • 8th Street detour is open during this phase

You can also follow progress on Facebook.

And this site: https://www.codot.gov/projects/sh82grandavenuebridge

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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