Transportation Commission green lights Grand Avenue Bridge project
GARFIELD COUNTY/GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Colorado Transportation Commission, acting as the Bridge Enterprise Fund, has approved the supplemental budget required to allow the Grand Avenue Bridge project to move forward with construction. The project will replace the existing Grand Avenue Bridge which brings SH 82 over the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. The action by the Bridge Enterprise Fund came after the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) for the project submitted a bid of $68.4 million for construction that was accepted by CDOT.
“We are extremely excited by this decision”, said Steve Olson, Program Engineer for CDOT in Glenwood Springs. “The people of Glenwood Springs and CDOT have worked together for four years planning this project. We started with a community vision and ended with a bridge design that works for the users and is consistent with the context of this community. We are ready to begin the construction phase that, when completed, will provide a safe, functional bridge and enhanced connections for the citizens of Glenwood Springs.”
The Colorado state legislature passed a bill in 2009 to fund a program to address the state’s poorly rated bridges. The Grand Avenue Bridge is one of approximately 150 bridges on the state system that has a “poor” rating and therefore has priority for the funding.
The project Construction Manager General Contractor, or CMGC, is the Granite Construction and RL Wadsworth Joint Venture from the Salt Lake City area. The final budget for the project is $125.6 Million and is funded through the Bridge Enterprise Fund, CDOT, and contributions from utility companies, and several local governments including the City of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County, and Eagle County. The Elected Officials Transportation Commission has also allocated funding to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) for the Fall 2017 detour phase of the project for enhanced transit services along the I-70 corridor, and within the City of Glenwood Springs.
Work on an Environmental Assessment for the project began in the summer of 2011 after a CDOT study found the bridge to have functional, structural and safety deficiencies. Through the process, CDOT had contact with over 3,000 individuals through an array of public outreach activities. The input gained was incorporated into the project design. “The community’s over-riding desire was to make sure that the design of the bridge fit with the setting, which is downtown Glenwood and the North side of town,” said Tom Newland, public involvement consultant during the design process and CDOT Project Public Information Manager for the bridge construction. “CDOT and Glenwood Springs wanted a bridge that was sensitive to the context of the community. To realize this we provided continuous and meaningful involvement of the public and all stakeholders throughout the project development process.”
The project received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in June, and since that time CDOT has been gathering funding sources and cutting costs to get the project in-line with budget estimates. That work was finalized earlier this week when the contractor and CDOT arrived at a cost acceptable to both parties.
The details of the project schedule are being finalized by the CMGC and CDOT, but it is anticipated that the project will begin in early January of 2016. Initial work will include construction of the “causeways” or construction platforms at the pier locations on the south bank of the Colorado River. Work will then be done to install a temporary walkway on the existing SH 82 vehicular bridge followed by removing the existing pedestrian bridge and replacing it with a new one that can structurally carry public utilities that are currently on the vehicle bridge over the river.
In 2016 and 2017, work will also be concentrated on the vehicle bridge. Four lanes of traffic will be maintained on the bridge until the fall of 2017. At that point, the bridge will be closed for three months and traffic re-routed over Midland Avenue and 8th Street. During the complete bridge closure, the existing bridge will be removed and the remaining portions of the new bridge and associated approach improvements and roadways will be constructed. Work during the closure will be performed by accelerated construction.
Through the initial 2016 phase of the project, motorists should be prepared to experience short traffic stops and lane closures. The speed limit through the project area is expected to remain at 25 mph.
CDOT and the Granite Construction and RL Wadsworth Joint Venture greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation while going through the work zone. Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone.
Those with questions or concerns about the project, or who want to receive updates on the project as it is constructed, may call, message or email Tom Newland, CDOT Project Public Information Manager, at (970) 618-9922, [email protected]
Updated information regarding traffic impacts on this project will be available at www.sh82grandavenuebridge.com.