CDOT gives notice-to-proceed to build Eighth Street connection
GARFIELD COUNTY/GLENWOOD SPRINGS - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announces the ground breaking date for the new Eighth Street Connection project. Preliminary work will begin Tuesday, Sept. 6, just after Labor Day, to build the roadway that will directly connect motorists from Midland Avenue to Grand Avenue via Eighth Street.
Following a 30-day public comment period, CDOT and the Grand Avenue Bridge (GAB) construction team moved the Eighth Street connection ahead in the construction schedule to ease traffic on Seventh Street.
“This connection quickly moved to the top of our priority list,” said Tom Newland, CDOT public information manager. “The decision to complete this work earlier in the construction schedule came after consideration for construction activities happening concurrently on Seventh Street.” The original schedule was to build the connection in the summer of 2017, he said. However, with the periodic closures of Seventh Street between Colorado Avenue and Cooper Avenue, the project team wanted to alleviate traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety on Seventh Street by reducing the number of vehicles in that area.
CONSTRUCTION AND TRAFFIC IMPACTS:
The connection will extend Eighth Street, which currently stops just west of School Street, to the Eighth Street Bridge and Midland Avenue.
The Eighth Street connection project timeline is six to eight weeks. In the first week, motorists can anticipate minimal traffic impacts on Seventh Street near the Eighth Street Bridge and Eighth Street near Pitkin Avenue. There will be flaggers in the area directing trucks in and out of the project area.
About 1,000 cubic yards per day will be excavated west of City Hall, and trucks will use Ninth and Tenth streets as a route in and out of town. In mid-October, the contractor will be working against a strict “asphalt timeline.” As cooler temperatures move to the Roaring Fork Valley, the crew will be working to asphalt the Eighth Street connection before asphalt companies close for the winter months.
Improvements must be made to the bridge deck of the Eighth Street Bridge to complete the Eighth Street connection, including removing asphalt and concrete decking. To minimize the traffic impact timeline and complete paving before winter, crews will close the bridge for approximately ten days. The scheduled closure date is Oct. 8. and the closure location is from the Eighth Street Bridge to Midland Avenue.
Local access for Cowdin Drive residents will be maintained during the closure, and coordination with RFTA and the Roaring Fork School District is ongoing for this temporary bridge closure period during which the bridge deck will be repaired, and guardrail improvements will be made.
Trees in the work zone will be removed during the excavation phase of this project.
Pedestrian access on the Eighth Street Bridge will also be maintained during the bridge closure.
Motorists traveling from West Glenwood to downtown Glenwood Springs should use US Hwy 6 or I-70 Exit 116 to access downtown. RFTA will have a different schedule during this 10-day closure; commuters should check www.rfta.com for updated routes.
“We are working closely with the Roaring Fork School District, the City of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County, RFTA and Eighth Street businesses and residents to assist and continually update them on traffic and construction impacts during this phase,” Newland said.
Midland Avenue, Cowdin Drive, Pitkin Avenue, School Street residents and the general public are invited to a neighborhood informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Library to discuss concerns during the 10-day Eighth Street Bridge closure.
Additionally, the GAB information team will include timely updates on the connection in its bi-monthly downtown public meeting. These meetings are every first and third Friday of the month in the public information office at 715 Grand Avenue, Suite A. The next scheduled meeting is Sept. 16 at 9 a.m.
To be added to the Eighth Street connection stakeholder email list call or text 970-618-9897 or email [email protected]. Weekly construction activities will be posted in the Grand Avenue Bridge public information updates.