Alley work to begin between Grand, Cooper |

Alley work to begin between Grand, Cooper

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The next phase of city street improvements associated with the ongoing downtown redevelopment projects involves repaving the alleyway in the 800 block between Cooper and Grand avenues.

The alley, which runs between Eighth and Ninth streets, is to be closed to both vehicle and foot traffic beginning April 8 for up to three weeks, said project managers.

Dave Betley, the assistant public works director for the city of Glenwood Springs, explained that the existing asphalt surface will be stripped to make way for a new concrete surface.

“It will be equivalent to what people now see in the alley south of Ninth Street,” Betley said. “The new concrete surface will provide more uniformity, and will allow us to consolidate some of the Dumpsters and provide water drainage away from the building foundations.”

Similar alley work in the 900 block was done last year, in conjunction with the new public parking garage at Ninth and Cooper.

The alley repaving is included as part of the $4.5 million parking garage project, which is being jointly funded by the city and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

During the alley reconstruction, Grand Avenue businesses on that side of the block will not have rear access. Trash and recycling containers will also be temporarily moved to locations on Cooper and next to Centennial Park, Betley said.

The ongoing construction is part of a larger downtown redevelopment project that includes the parking garage and the new $11.2 million shared Glenwood Springs Branch Library/Colorado Mountain College building that is under construction at Eighth and Cooper.

Once the alley is repaved, pedestrian access will remain restricted until the middle of June while an enclosed bridge is constructed between the upper levels of the existing CMC building on Grand and the new library building.

The new library is scheduled for completion in the fall. It will include the first-floor library space, an underground parking garage for CMC employees, and additional space for CMC on the second floor.

In the meantime, the DDA is also refining plans to make the alleys in the vicinity of the two projects, as well as elsewhere in the downtown area, more walkable and to give them more aesthetic appeal.

The DDA has been working with urban design consultants on ways to create lighted, European-style pedestrian walkways, dining and public seating areas along certain alley sections.

The new library is also to include an outdoor plaza on the south side of the building, stretching between the alley and Cooper. The DDA is proposing to eventually link the alley improvements to the plaza area.

The DDA operates with funding from a special voter-approved tax increment financing (TIF) that is paid by downtown property owners.

Betley added that work will also resume this spring to replace the sidewalks on Cooper Avenue next to the parking garage and put in landscaping. That work will be ongoing throughout the summer, he said.

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