Bridge Answer Man column: Bridge work tears up downtown Glenwood again at month’s end
At the end of November, Grand Avenue bridge crews will begin working on the traffic bridge walls downtown between Seventh and Eighth streets on Grand Avenue. This phase of construction will take place through spring, and will change the look and feel of both the east and west sides of the pedestrian plaza.
Construction activity of the structural walls will be similar to the downtown area utility project last spring, with comparable impacts to the pedestrian plaza between Seventh and Eighth streets.
• Crews will install fencing and barriers on the pedestrian plaza. The fencing will remain through the end of the bridge project.
• The fencing will be approximately 6-8 feet from downtown storefronts. Pedestrian access and access to downtown businesses will be maintained.
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• Heavy equipment will be needed to construct this phase of work, with intermittent noisy conditions during work hours.
• Shoring activities (shooting concrete) and temporary screening will be seen periodically as the work progresses.
The new traffic bridge walls serve two functions: supporting the new roadway and creating the aesthetics for the traffic bridge. The new traffic bridge walls’ protective railing will be a couple of feet higher than the current traffic bridge. Several sections of the traffic bridge will be built over the next several months and approximately 50 percent of the entire bridge will be complete by the Aug. 14, 2017, closure of the existing bridge.
In order to construct the walls, crews will set safety barriers on the east and west sides of the plaza and begin by saw-cutting the temporary asphalt. The fenced barrier will be in place for the remainder of the project and will be a mixture of concrete barriers, screening (to reduce glare), safety plywood and six-foot pedestrian fencing like that already on Seventh Street.
Four phases are required to complete the walls. The first two phases will be on both the east and west sides at the south end of the current traffic bridge. Phases three and four will include wing wall construction and vertical walls on both the east and west sides.
Phase four will start after the new pedestrian bridge opens in March. Crews will remove the pedestrian walkway for construction access to the traffic bridge abutment, and foot traffic will be directed to the new pedestrian bridge. Most of the steel will be recycled.
For construction access, crews will close the southbound left-turn lane onto Eighth Street and restripe Colorado 82 lanes. Motorists will continue south on Colorado 82/Grand Avenue to Ninth Street for access to city streets east of Grand.
Motorists can anticipate periodic one-lane closures on the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during wall construction. Weekend work is also possible.
The new traffic bridge walls will be finished with red stone veneer that can be seen on the pedestrian bridge columns. In addition to the stone veneer, the south end of the traffic bridge will contain lighted monuments as a gateway to Glenwood Springs.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.