As bridges are built, Glenwood connections improve
“When it’s complete, the new pedestrian underpass will be a game changer.” These are the words of Keith Harrison, a longtime local who scheduled a tour with the Grand Avenue bridge team last week. Harrison navigates Glenwood Springs in his wheelchair.
The new pedestrian underpass is on the north side of the Colorado River and will provide access from Two Rivers Park to Sixth Street when it is complete. Harrison, who uses a hand bike to get around town, expressed that this new connection will completely change the access and safety to downtown Glenwood for the better. The pedestrian underpass is expected to open this summer, and is a notable example of the different modes or types of travel that are being accommodated and connected by the Grand Avenue bridge project.
In addition to the underpass, Harrison and the team discussed the pedestrian bridge at length. The pedestrian bridge is 16 feet wide with 34-foot-wide overlooks. The new elevators, which will be enclosed in glass and large enough to contain a bicycle with a trailer, will allow Harrison to navigate his hand bike across the new pedestrian bridge more smoothly. This is a route that was previously particularly difficult because of the width of the ramps.
Glenwood Springs is fairly easy to get around, Harrison said. The new traffic bridge, the pedestrian underpass and new city trails are creating strong multimodal connections throughout our city. The city of Glenwood Springs recently installed a new pedestrian bridge from Midland Avenue over the Roaring Fork River with a path to the Rio Grande Trail behind the Glenwood High School. A new bike path from the Community Center to the Exit 114 interchange is being built as well. These connections make it simpler and safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to move around town.
According to the Environmental Assessment, the bridge project will maximize vehicular movement on Grand while “enhancing pedestrian movements and increasing connectivity of local streets, trails and walkways.”
All in all, changes are happening that aren’t always obvious to the public. When the Grand Avenue bridge project is complete, multimodal connectivity throughout Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley will be noticeably improved. These connections will also provide an integral asset to our community during the Grand Avenue bridge detour. The bridge project team anticipates that these alternate modes of transportation will likely be one of the fastest ways around town when the bridge is closed. Get out your bikes, the detour is coming.
• Ninth Street between Cooper and Grand avenues will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
• Ninth Street between Colorado and Grand avenues will be closed Wednesday and Thursday.
• The I-70 Exit 116 eastbound on-ramp will be closed from 6-9 a.m. Monday through Friday for several months.
• The I-70 Exit 114 eastbound off-ramp will be reduced to one lane as crews work on improvements.
• Both eastbound and westbound I-70 approaching Exit 116 is reduced to one lane.
• Expect periodic one-lane closures on the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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