Glenwood Springs’ new Grand Avenue bridge is officially open | VailDaily.com

Glenwood Springs’ new Grand Avenue bridge is officially open

John Stroud | Glenwood Springs Post Independent
An estimated 3,000 people came together to celebrate the ribbon cutting and official opening of the new Grand Avenue bridge on Monday evening, Nov. 6. (Courtesy of Charles Engelbert)

Mark the date and time in history – 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. The new Grand Avenue bridge is officially open.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new bridge deck attended by upwards of 3,000 people and a community walk across the bridge to Eighth Street, officials made the call. Much to the delight of Monday evening commuters, two lanes of the new bridge were opened to northbound Colorado 82 traffic at 5 sharp.

The bridge was expected to open to four lanes sometime overnight.

"We're here for something you probably thought would never happen, but here we are, two weeks ahead of schedule," Mike Lewis, Colorado Department of Transportation deputy executive director, said before the official ribbon cutting, to loud applause.

"This is an incredibly exciting day for us at CDOT, but I'm sure it's much more exciting for you who have had to put up with detours and traffic jams and noise and disruption for the better part of two years," he said. "Thanks to all of you for putting up with us."

The bridge opening marks the end of a near three-month detour of Grand Avenue and Colorado 82 traffic while the old bridge spanning the Colorado River and Interstate 70 was removed, and the final span of the new bridge completed.

Construction will continue for several more months, as crews work to put the finishing touches on the bridge, build a new, longer Interstate 70 eastbound on ramp, remove the construction platforms in the river, and generally make sure everything is in working order.

Doing the honors for the ribbon cutting were a group of Glenwood Springs Middle School students, including Forest Williams, who was injured in a bicycle accident while commuting to school in September and doing his part to help reduce traffic on the detour route.

Glenwood Springs Middle School students Dylan West, Cooper Proctor, Elias Gardner, Tom Barton and Forest Williams were the honorary ribbon-cutters during the ceremony on Monday evening, Nov. 6. (Chelsea Self | Post Independent staff)

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