Glenwood Springs’ Grand Avenue bridge scheduled to open Nov. 7, weather permitting
It’s official. The Colorado Department of Transportation anticipates being able to open the new Grand Avenue bridge to traffic by Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The exact time, either late Monday night or early in the morning Tuesday, is still to be determined, as are the number of lanes that will be initially open to traffic, CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said in a Thursday morning news release.
To get ready for the historic occasion, the project team is planning a community bridge deck walk and ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Monday, rain or shine. The event will be open to the public.
“With the anticipated rain and snow this weekend, we do not have an exact time of the bridge opening,” said Gaylen Stewart, construction manager for Granite/RLW Joint Venture. “After 85 days of construction, we are planning for an anticipated opening on Tuesday, Nov. 7, the time is dependent on the weather and ability to stripe traffic lanes.”
For the bridge deck walk and ribbon cutting on Monday, participants are asked to meet on the north side of the traffic bridge deck, at the abutment above the pedestrian underpass.
“The celebration is a fun opportunity for the community to walk across the new bridge deck, celebrate the community working together and be captured in a photograph that will commemorate Glenwood history,” Trulove said. “Over the course of the project we have had many requests for an event on the traffic bridge. We wanted to take a moment and thank our community and local partners.”
CDOT said it initially hoped to open three lanes of the bridge to traffic to start, with two lanes alternating between southbound and northbound traffic to match peak traffic volume in the morning and evening hours.
“Because of the variables in weather an exact time and number of lanes is not confirmed,” CDOT said in the release.
Parking for the Monday event is available at the West Glenwood Mall with free RFTA shuttles every 15-20 minutes. Parking is also available in the Wal-Mart and Safeway back lots, with free RFTA shuttle service to the Amtrak Station.
Once the bridge is open, the detour that has been in place since Aug. 14 will be dismantled.
“Our team will quickly move into transitioning out of the detour configuration,” said Graham Riddile, CDOT Region 3 Engineer. “Our first priority is signal timing at Eighth and Ninth streets, and opening the transit priority lane to traffic.”
Lane configurations on the traffic bridge will be designed to accommodate early morning and afternoon/evening peak weekday traffic.
“A significant reduction will occur in peak hour delay times and should quickly revert to pre-detour traffic conditions.”
Crews will roll back the I-70 Exit 114 eastbound exit-only lane and the northbound Colorado 82 transit lane.
Striping in the downtown squareabout will be changed in a phased method, follow flagger instructions and signage.
The EMS, transit and vanpool lanes on northbound 82 and Wulfsohn Road will be open to all motorists with the opening of the Grand Avenue Bridge.
Midland Avenue, Eighth Street, Colorado Avenue and Ninth Street will be converted to their pre-detour configuration.
The intersection of Eighth Street and Colorado Avenue will return to a four-way stop, with all four pedestrian crosswalks and fencing removed.
Pedestrian access is maintained via the Eighth Street and Grand Avenue intersections for both east and west wing streets. Pedestrian access under the bridge is anticipated to open mid to late-December.
Free Roaring Fork Transportation Authority transit services will continue through Nov. 22, and the Hogback route will continue to be free through Dec. 8.
Glenwood zone buses and Ride Glenwood will resume pre-detour routing on Thanksgiving Day, and the $1 per day fare will return.
Starting Saturday, Dec. 9, Hogback service from Rifle to New Castle will resume its pre-detour schedule. Visit rfta.com for fare information.
“The new traffic pattern of the traffic bridge and the roundabout will take adjustment,” CDOT concluded in its release. “Slower speeds are expected as people begin to navigate this new traffic pattern. Please be patient, follow signage and posted speed limits.”