News

SH 82 Grand Avenue Bridge Environmental Assessment Moving Forward

May 6, 2013 - PROJECT UPDATE - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Since the Public Open House on January 9, the Grand Avenue project team has been working to add definition to the preferred alternative for the Environmental Assessment (EA).

There are several new refinements to the project that have resulted from further engineering analysis and input from varied stakeholder groups, including Glenwood community members. These options will be presented to the Project Working Group in May; and, if agreed upon, will become part of the preferred alternative and evaluated in the EA.

Pedestrian Underpass of SH 82 near Exit 116 - CDOT, the project team, and the City’s River Commission met to evaluate pedestrian/bike options for the bridge project. After lengthy and productive discussions, the group determined the best option to be a trail underpass of SH 82 in north Glenwood with a connection to Two Rivers Park. The benefits of this option are a safer and more direct connection between Two Rivers Park and North Glenwood, including 6th Street and connections to the Glenwood Canyon Trail.

Pedestrian Bridge Replacement - Based on input received at the January 9 Public Open House and subsequent engineering analysis by the project team, three bridge types are being considered for the new pedestrian bridge that would provide bicycle and pedestrian connectivity between downtown Glenwood and the Hot Springs area. They are:  1) a single-tower, cable-stayed symmetric span bridge (two equal spans); 2) a single-tower, cable-stayed asymmetric-span bridge (spans of different lengths); and 3) an arch bridge that spans from the south bank to north of I-70. There are still many engineering challenges with each of these options, and a final decision on the bridge type will probably not occur for many months. In the meantime, the project bridge architect (Fred Gottmoeller, Bridgescape LLC of Columbus, MD) has begun meeting with stakeholders to start gathering input on the options. A model and renderings of these options are currently being developed for public viewing in June.

6th and Laurel Intersection - The proposed 6th and Laurel intersection was presented at a public meeting in January. This intersection option was found to have a couple advantages over options previously considered. Input during and subsequent to that meeting has resulted in new variations of that intersection being developed and evaluated.  This evaluation will be reviewed by the project team later this month and could result in a new layout. The focus of this effort is to develop an intersection that has fewer property impacts, is easier to navigate, and maintains or improves pedestrian access.

Contracting Consultant - CDOT just completed an agreement to add a consulting contractor to the team. The contractor, Granite/RLW Joint Venture, will begin working with the project design team to give input specifically on construction methods, constructability and schedule. This means that the design team can ultimately incorporate the suggestions into the design so the bridges can be built as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Public Involvement - As part of the public process, there will be a Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) meeting on May 30, 1:30 p.m., at the Glenwood Community Recreation Center, to focus on the decisions that need to be addressed next in the process. These are:  1) the selection of the pedestrian bridge structure type; 2) the process for determining the Grand Avenue Bridge design details; and 3) the design elements and treatments for the entry into Glenwood Springs from I-70. Public input continues to be an important part of the process and will be considered along with the evaluation of impacts in the Environmental Assessment. Input on architectural elements, design details, the construction detour, landscaping, signage and other elements will be the focus of work over the next 12 to 18 months.

8th Street Intersection - Based on the SH 82 Access Control Plan process, the project team is including a full access intersection at the 8th and Grand intersection. The intersection layout will be very similar to today’s intersection and will have very little effect on the new Grand Avenue bridge.

Environmental Assessment Schedule - The next steps in the EA are (please note, dates could change):

  • Complete the Environmental Assessment Process – expected May 2014
    • Public Review & Public Hearing – expected January 2014
    • Determine pedestrian bridge type – expected January 2014
    • FHWA Decision Document – expected May 2014
  • Complete Design – expected December 2014
  • Construction  – could begin January 2015

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 at http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/sh82grandavenuebridge. Those wanting to receive project updates can sign up via CDOT’s free message system by going to www.coloradodot.info and clicking on the green cell phone in the upper right corner of the page. After signing in, scroll down to “Projects” and choose “SH 82 Aspen to Glenwood.” Project comments can also be provided to:  [email protected].

The project is funded through the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, 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.

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