New bridge in Glenwood under discussion

By Real Aspen
November 14, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and members of the Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) met to discuss options for the new Grand Avenue Bridge and pedestrian access between the Hot Springs Pool and downtown.

The SWG includes residents, business owners, city officials, and other interested members of the Glenwood Springs community who have been meeting with CDOT since December 2011 to consider alternatives and opportunities for replacing the Grand Avenue Bridge through an Environmental Assessment (EA).

In September, CDOT recommended an alignment for the new Grand Avenue Bridge that provides a direct connection from I-70 to downtown Glenwood Springs. There were 23 SWG members who attended a workshop Wednesday afternoon to discuss different bridge types and their implications for construction timing and traffic impacts. They considered how different structure types would look and the aesthetic advantages of each.

The SWG also considered opportunities for retaining, improving or replacing the existing pedestrian bridge. Over the past year, members of the community have expressed a strong interest in maintaining the pedestrian crossing over the Colorado River, I-70 and the railroad tracks, separated from motorized traffic. There has also been interest in enhancing the experience for residents and visitors to provide pedestrians an attractive space to enjoy the vistas and observe the river below. The SWG explored limitations and issues with the current bridge, including access at south end of the bridge and the bridge width that may not meet future pedestrian demand. The SWG considered opportunities to replace the existing bridge with a structure that meets the community’s desire for an attractive space for pedestrians that is separated from vehicle traffic. Further discussion with the City of Glenwood Springs will be necessary to determine the most effective approach to maintaining or replacing the pedestrian bridge.

Officials with CDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the City of Glenwood Springs will use the input from the SWG meeting to help determine preferred bridge structure types and develop a recommendation for the pedestrian bridge. New and updated information on the recommendations will be available at the Public Open House scheduled for Jan. 9.

“The SWG members care a lot about the project and were engaged in the meeting, as they have been through this entire process,” CDOT Region 3 East Program Engineer Joe Elsen said. “The input received will help the project team better evaluate the various bridge types in terms of construction impacts and aesthetics.”

CDOT will continue to meet with the project stakeholders and interested groups. The study 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. Information and documentation on the project are posted at www.sh82grandavenuebridge.com.


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