Bridge Answer Man signing off (for now)
The Grand Avenue bridge project has gotten past its major milestone (opening the bridge), and we are now in the final phase of the work. We are implementing our post-detour public information plan, which calls for continuing the project updates via email, Facebook and our website grandavebridge.codot.gov.
Even though the bridge is open to traffic, there will still be plenty of work going on over the next six months to close out the project. In December, look for crews to begin removing the causeways (those earthen ramps that go down under the bridge next to the river); the Glenwood Hot Springs parking lot will be under construction; and work will continue in earnest on the pavers and other improvements on wing streets between Seventh and Eighth. Also anticipate ongoing, off-peak lane closures on the bridge in December.
When the Post Independent gave us the opportunity to do a weekly column back in January 2016, we were excited but a little intimidated. Excited because we were given a great tool to keep the public informed about the project; intimidated because we had to come up with a compelling story to publish every Monday for 94 weeks.
Thankfully, this endeavor wasn’t placed entirely on my shoulders, and the support and backup I received from the project team was enormous. I want to personally thank Kathleen Wanatowicz, Sam Montgomery and Bryana Starbuck for helping to plan, draft and edit the column. And I can’t forget Tracy Trulove, Josh Cullen and Roland Wagner at CDOT, who helped brainstorm interesting and timely topics to write about.
This will be the last column you will see for a while, given that the construction pace has slowed and traffic has been normalized after the detour.
Although you will no longer see this column on a regular basis, there are still plenty of ways to keep informed. I recommend going to our website and signing up for project updates. Another great option is to follow the project on our Facebook page. Both sources will keep you informed about immediate traffic impacts and overall construction progress as the project moves towards completion.
Finally, I’d like to thank you, the reader, for keeping up with the project through this column. Please continue to follow the project with the Post Independent. The PI will provide you with continuing articles and content on the project as well as occasional Answer Man columns when major construction work and/or traffic impacts occur.
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The family of Rosie Ferrin has worked to clean up and make safe again the old schoolhouse in downtown New Castle. Ferrin died this summer and had owned the building that included classrooms turned into apartments for years.