Breathe deep: Sunlight Bridge reopening eases congestion in Glenwood Springs
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Commuters living in South Glenwood Springs and the Four Mile area were pleased to find that the Sunlight Bridge at 27th Street is again open to traffic.
The bridge had been closed for two weeks while construction crews investigated why the area directly to the west of the bridge was prone to potholes. According to Assistant City Engineer Steve Vanderleest the potholes should be a thing of the past.
“We did find a couple of surprises,” Vanderleest said.
Crews uncovered two utility deficiencies, a break in an 18-inch sanitary sewer main and a plugged storm drain, which Vanderleest believes contributed to the constant barrage of potholes in the roadway.
“It was probably saturated with water all the time,” Vanderleest said. “And when the snow would melt, it would infiltrate the ground around the west end of the bridge.”
Crews were able to unplug the blocked storm drain and replace the section of sewer main. They also removed a man hole in the area as well.
While the closure of the bridge contributed to a traffic nightmare for commuters, Vanderleest said that the work was necessary and timely.
“We didn’t know how bad they were until we started the project,” he said. “It is a really good thing that we decided to replace that section and found those problems now.”
The asphalt surface was also replaced with concrete, which Vanderleest said should last about 50 to 60 years.
With this portion of work complete, all lanes to the new roundabout are open. Just some minor landscaping and finish work remain at the location.
Initial estimates calculated that the additional work would exceed the $1.4 million budget by $15,712. However, Vanderleest said that he thought the project would likely still come in under budget.
“We were being very conservative when we estimated the cost of work,” he said.
CDOT makes additions to 116 interchange project
The Colorado Department of Transportation decided to include some additional work to the ongoing Interstate 70 116 interchange project.
According to project spokesman Tom Newland, Scott Contracting found during the construction that adding a second lane for traffic exiting westbound I-70 at the Glenwood Springs exit would eliminate traffic back-ups spilling onto the Interstate, and would improve the safety of the exit as well. The addition will add $49,000 to the contract.
Newland said that the work on the ramp is currently under way and should not hold up the project or push back the completion date because the project is ahead of schedule.
CDOT will also include the concrete crosswalks that the city asked to be included as added safety precautions. Those additions will add another $80,000 to the project.
And finally, another crosswalk and traffic signal will be added to the westbound I-70 exit ramp, adding another $39,000, Newland said.
Newland said that crews will end night work next week and are scheduled to begin repaving efforts sometime this week, including exit and entrance ramps, the main intersection at Sixth Street and Laurel Street through the Grand Avenue Bridge.
The interchange 116 work is scheduled to be complete by Oct. 22, but Newland said that work is expected to be completed sooner.
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