SH 82 Grand Ave. Bridge - Good Public Participation
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) continues to engage the Glenwood Springs community in the Environmental Assessment (EA) study to determine the best option for rehabilitating or replacing the Grand Avenue Bridge. Approximately 100 people attended an open house with exhibits and a presentation that reviewed the EA study process and provided a short list of bridge alignment alternatives.
Through each step of the EA process, CDOT has worked closely with the Glenwood Springs community and local, state and federal stakeholders to consider options that meet the bridge project’s purpose and need. Through this collaborative process, CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration have eliminated a number of alternatives that were less effective in meeting the evaluation criteria. The four alternatives for replacement that will be evaluated in more detail are:
- Alternative 1: Replace the bridge along its current alignment.
- Alternative 3A: Connect Grand Avenue to 6th and Laurel with intersection changes at Laurel.
- Alternative 4: Construct two new bridges, one northbound on the current Grand Avenue alignment and one southbound connecting from 6th and Laurel.
- Alternative 6: Construct two new bridges that connect to downtown couplets on Grand and Colorado avenues.
Input received at this open house will be used in the next level of study.
“We are carrying the four alternative alignments into the next level of evaluation,” Joe Elsen, CDOT’s Region 3 east program engineer, said. “Each alternative has advantages and disadvantages; this public process enables us to hear what’s important to the community. The different ideas and perspectives we receive from stakeholders will be addressed as we move forward.”
It is anticipated that the results of this next evaluation phase will be presented at an open house in August.
The project’s Stakeholder Working Group (SWG), representing a broad range of interests and organizations in the Glenwood Springs area, met Wednesday afternoon before the open house to provide input into the four alternatives CDOT will take into the final evaluation process. The SWG evolved out of the Visioning Workshop held last December and has met three additional times to provide focused input on the EA study. The group discussed the trade-offs and opportunities of the four alternatives.
They considered the potential construction impacts, right-of-way needs, impacts to business and views, opportunities for aesthetic enhancements, access to the hot springs, and the ability to accommodate bikes and pedestrians. The SWG was asked to provide input on what kind of information they thought was important to understand about the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.
CDOT will continue to meet with the SWG, community members, interested civic groups, and elected and appointed boards. The project 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). 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.
For more information about the SH 82 Grand Avenue Bridge Environmental Assessment, the public may access: www.coloradodot.info/projects/sh82grandavenuebridge.