Community Weighs in on SH 82 Grand Avenue Bridge Alternatives
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Glenwood Springs community turned out at a public open house yesterday to view the initial options under consideration for the Environmental Assessment (EA) study that will determine the best option for rehabilitating or replacing the Grand Avenue Bridge. The bridge has been rated as in need of replacement or repair by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado Bridge Enterprise,* and an EA is required because the project is using federal funds. Approximately 91 people reviewed the open house exhibits, talked with study team members, and provided ideas on the initial bridge alignments and the options for what to include on the bridge.
CDOT has worked with local **stakeholders to develop a project vision, goals, and criteria for evaluating the alternatives for the EA. The project purpose, presented in draft format at last night’s meeting, is “to provide a safe, secure, and effective connection from downtown Glenwood Springs across the Colorado River and I-70 to the historic Glenwood Hot Springs area.”
As alternatives to improve the bridge are developed, they are put through a formal evaluation and screening process. CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration have already eliminated some alternatives that didn’t meet the project needs or had “fatal flaws.” Input received at this open house will support the next level of evaluation and screening. Options now being considered include:
- Replacing or reconstructing the bridge in or near its current location.
- A new single bridge connecting Grand Avenue with 6th Street near Pine.
- Paired one-way bridges that would separate the northbound and southbound SH 82 traffic. These ‘couplets’ could connect at Grand, Colorado and Cooper to the south and Pine, Maple and Laurel on the north.
Other elements being considered are types and numbers of bridge lanes and how the bridge will accommodate bikes and pedestrians. Different ways to configure new intersections on the north side also are being discussed.
Joe Elsen, CDOT’s Region 3 east program engineer, said, “We have identified many possible ways to connect downtown with the historic Hot Springs area. After hearing from the community about what they liked and didn’t like about each of the options, the study team can now narrow the options to a smaller number that can be examined in further detail.”
The final level of screening will involve more detailed analysis and will take place over the spring and summer.
The **Stakeholder Working Group (SWG), representing a broad range of interests and organizations in the Glenwood Springs area, met Wednesday afternoon to discuss different options for the bridge. This was a continuation of the Visioning Workshop held last December and a follow-up meeting in February. The group discussed the trade-offs, opportunities, and potential impacts of each of the options. The considerations included the ability to accommodate traffic; changes to intersections and access; impacts to businesses both during and after construction; and effects on parking, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The study team will use community input and preferences to evaluate alternatives.
CDOT will continue to meet with the Stakeholder Working Group, community members, interested civic groups, and elected and appointed boards. The study team provides regular updates to the Glenwood Springs City Council and the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners. Interested individuals and groups are encouraged to contact Joe Elsen to schedule a project briefing or presentation.
CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are conducting the EA. The Open House exhibits are part of the background information and documentation on the project that are posted at www.sh82grandavenuebridge.com. Those wanting to receive project updates can sign up via CDOT’s free message system by going to www.coloradodot.info and clicking on green cell phone in the upper right hand side of the page. After signing in, scroll down to “Projects” and choose “SH 82 Aspen to Glenwood.”
*The Colorado Bridge Enterprise is a government-owned business entity within CDOT. The Colorado General assembly created the statewide Bridge Enterprise via Senate Bill 09-108, also known as FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Treatment and Economic Recovery www.coloradodot.info/projects/faster). The purpose of the Bridge Enterprise is to complete designated bridge projects that involve the financing, repair, reconstruction and replacement of bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor” by CDOT.
Glenwood Springs Travel Survey Now Online
Please tell us about your most recent trip through Glenwood Springs—driving, walking, biking, or traveling by bus. The survey information will provide an understanding of travel characteristics in and through Glenwood Springs. It also will help develop solutions for fixing or replacing the SH 82 Grand Avenue Bridge as part of the ongoing Environmental Assessment process.
Visit www.travel82.com (or scan the code below with your smart phone) and complete the on-line survey between April 3 and May 1, 2012. There will be a prize drawing for qualified participants.