GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Work has begun on several downtown streetscape projects, beginning with new landscaping near the Cooper Avenue parking garage and additional parking improvements in the area, and culminating with the recently approved sidewalk expansion to allow for outdoor dining areas along Seventh Street.
The Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority (DDA) recently awarded the contract for the approximately $1 million worth of work to Gould Construction, according to a DDA news release.
In addition to the Seventh Street and Cooper Avenue work, the project will also include an improved pedestrian and outdoor dining area in the alleyway between the pedestrian plaza in the 700 block of Grand Avenue and Colorado Avenue, where two new restaurants are expected to open soon.
The effort involves a public-private partnership with the owners of the 711 Grand building where Smoke Modern BBQ and The Lost Cajun are under construction. The owners of the building are funding improvements including overhead lighting in the alley, railings, planters and outdoor furniture.
The larger downtown project also includes reconfiguration of the parking spaces in the lot south of the Glenwood Springs Fire Department to add an additional 10 spaces.
Funding for the project includes $800,000 from Garfield County and $200,000 from the DDA general fund, plus public works support from the city of Glenwood Springs, according to the DDA release.
The Seventh Street work, in the two-block section commonly known as “restaurant row” between Blake and Grand, will double the width of the sidewalk on the south side of the street to 18 feet.
“The increase in sidewalk space will afford restaurants along that stretch the opportunity to offer outdoor seating,” according to the DDA.
Improvements will include a new red brick and flagstone surface, new trees and railings to delineate dining areas from pedestrian zones.
Restaurants in the area, including The Pullman, Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse, Peppo Nino and the Riviera will remain open throughout the project. The Glenwood Canyon Brewpub will close from April 7-23 while it undergoes renovations associated with the outdoor dining area.
The area around the parking garage at Ninth and Cooper, which was completed in the fall of 2012, will include new walking surfaces, lighting, landscaping and plaza areas with benches.
The various projects are expected to be completed by early June.