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Glenwood Shell could be part of CDOT project

Randy Essex
ressex@postindependent.com
The Shell station on 6th Street in Glenwood Springs is closing after 34 years in business.
Colleen O’Neil | Post Independent |

SUNDAY PROFILE

Read an earlier story about Greg Beightel and listen to his feelings about the station.

A notable step has taken place in the project to replace Glenwood Springs’ Grand Avenue bridge.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has struck a “possession and use agreement” with the owners of the Glenwood Shell service station at the foot of exit 116 from Interstate 70. The station closed March 13.

It’s a key piece of property for the planned configuration of streets leading from westbound Interstate 70 to the new bridge, which is to sweep into downtown across the Colorado River from the northwest, rather than directly from the north as the current bridge is configured.

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“Our property is the place that’s going to make this work,” said Greg Beightel, who with his wife, Teresa, has owned the Shell station for nearly 34 years.

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While CDOT has taken soil samples and will test the ground water at the site, and the Beightels must be out of the business by April 10, the sale is not complete. Greg Beightel said he has gotten an offer from the state and both sides have done appraisals, but they are far apart.

“I would argue that there is no piece of Interstate property that is more valuable than mine and Teresa’s between Denver and Horizon Drive in Grand Junction,” he said. CDOT’s offer, he said, is inadequate.

“I think that things are going to work out good with the government,” he said. CDOT representatives “want to see us dealt with in a fair way.”

The station is one of a few properties CDOT is moving to acquire in advance of construction, which could begin as soon as late this year.

Kathy Freeman, CDOT’s Region 3 right of way manager, said the agency is working on early acquisition of land west of the intersection where the Shell stands and of some property now used as parking for the Hot Springs Pool. The gas station site needs substantial work, removing the underground storage tanks and testing soil for contamination. The overall project is due in May for a “decision document” from the Federal Highway Administration on whether it is clear to proceed or more environmental study is needed.

Program engineer Joe Elsen said the early acquisitions would be of properties that will be needed even if minor changes are made in the plan.

The CDOT officials couldn’t comment on sale negotiations with the Beightels.


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