News

SH 82 Grand Ave. Bridge Team Announces Traffic Simulations on Web

October 19, 2012 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The SH 82 Grand Avenue Bridge project team announces the availability of dynamic traffic simulations now posted on the project web site.

The simulations will give viewers a virtual drive across a new bridge, using the recently identified preferred alignment—Alternative 3.

The simulations also include two north-side intersection alternatives that—along with the bridge alignment—will now be evaluated in detail in the Environmental Assessment.  (Go to  www.coloradodot.info/projects/sh82grandavenuebridge.)

Alternative 3 touches down on the north side of the river near the 6th and Laurel intersection and provides a direct connection between Grand Avenue and I-70, Exit 116. It also removes SH 82 through traffic from 6th Street and provides a new connection to US 6.

Alternative 3 Intersection Options

There were three intersection options presented at the August 22 Public Open House and the Stakeholder Working Group meeting. When asked how the three options compared to each other in the areas of traffic, bike/pedestrian, and visual/land use, attendees favored Option 3A. For traffic, Option 3A was favored almost four times more than Option 3D. For the category of bike/ped, Option 3A was favored 3 to 1 over either Option 3D or Option 3E. For visual/land use comparison, Option 3A was shown as a preference over three times more than either Option 3D or 3E. This was consistent with prior public feedback.

The PWG’s evaluation found that Options 3A and 3E are very similar in terms of comparison, although Option 3E provided slightly better operations. Option 3D was found to have greater property impacts, more out-of-direction travel, a relatively more massive bridge structure, and additional costs associated with the large bridge structure. For these reasons, the PWG recommended that Option 3D be screened out. Options 3A and 3E will be kept for further refinement and evaluation.

South Side Pedestrian Options

One of the options for Grand Avenue on the south side of the river was to include an attached sidewalk on the section between 7th and 8th Streets. There was substantial feedback from the public that the added width of the structure for the sidewalk combined with the left turn lane at 8th Street would negatively impact businesses in this area. Also, emergency service providers are concerned that the wider structure would impair their access to the businesses in this area.

The PWG recommended that this option be eliminated from further evaluation. Other options that include an improved sidewalk connection to the 7th Street area will be further refined and evaluated. These include a ramp that connects the pedestrian bridge to the 7th Street and Grand Avenue area and a potential elevator.

When Happens Now?

The project team is focusing on:

  • Evaluating several bridge types that would be appropriate for the identified alignment. Bridge types affect how the bridge is built and what the bridge will look like.
  • Further refining and evaluating bicycle/pedestrian options and connections. The project team will continue to determine how best to incorporate an ADA-compliant pedestrian and bike facility across the river. Options include using the existing pedestrian bridge, building a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge, or incorporating these functions into the new Grand Avenue Bridge. Alternative 3 also includes several options for connecting to the existing bicycle and trail system.
  • Refining intersection details for Options 3A and 3E. Based on input received, these could be improved if they could be simplified for the driver and for access to businesses.

A Public Open House is planned for January to present this information. There will opportunity to provide input on:

  • What the bridge looks like (related to various bridge types).
  • How pedestrian and bicycle connections might work.
  • How traffic and businesses might be affected during construction.

Public comments will continue to be an important part of the process and will be considered along with the evaluation of impacts in the Environmental Assessment.

Contact:  [email protected]

Environmental Assessment Background:  CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are conducting the EA. All open house exhibits and other background information, documentation and a Frequently Asked Questions page are posted athttp://www.coloradodot.info/projects/sh82grandavenuebridge.

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