27th Street roundabout to remain as-is for now

Construction crews do traffic control at the new 27th Street roundabout on earlier this year.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Don’t expect any changes to the new 27th Street roundabout in Glenwood Springs any time soon.

“I think that we should take all of the construction equipment away, allow it to sit for at least six months and then decide.” City Engineer Terri Partch said at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The city’s engineering department was not seeking council direction concerning Glenwood’s newest roundabout. Instead, Partch explained the design process and possible ramifications of any alternatives.

“I think that we really should try it for a little while,” Partch said.

The idea of a roundabout at 27th Street was first proposed in early 2016 and last week the city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the near completion of the entire 27th Street Bridge Project.

In addition to replacing one of the worst-rated bridges in the state, the project also replaced the previous signalized intersection at 27th Street and Grand Avenue with a roundabout.

The new roundabout has a diameter of 98 feet. Had the city made it any larger it would have encroached on the neighboring ANB/Penrose Plaza and Berthod Motors properties.

According to Partch, in the old intersection WB-40 trucks, which include most food and standard beverage delivery trucks, could make all of the necessary movements safely.

WB-67 full-size semi-trucks, however, could not maneuver through the intersection without turning into oncoming traffic or mounting onto the sidewalk.

A similar situation occurs in the roundabout today.

While WB-40 trucks can make it through without issue, WB-67 trucks still have difficulty.

“It can be done,” Partch said. “We can help with traffic control should [a WB-67 truck] really need to be down there. We can assist in getting them through.”

According to Partch, the city tries to prohibit larger vehicles, like full-size semi-trucks from accessing that corridor.

As previously reported, Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson confirmed that all of the city’s fire trucks could maneuver through the roundabout.

The $10 million-plus construction project also received in excess of $3 million worth of grant funding.

“Let’s see how it works for a while and see how many issues we actually run into out there,” said Mayor Pro Tem Shelley Kaup.

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