Business group aims to close the GAPP |

Business group aims to close the GAPP

Lynn BurtonPost Independent Staff

A Glenwood Springs business group is lobbying the City Council to close the GAPP before it even opens.The GAPP is the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Grand Avenue Paving Project, a $3 million project slated for Feb. 1 to Dec. 31, 2004.The Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority board unanimously voted to oppose the construction project this week after learning its scope has changed, and urged the City Council to fight the project as well.”We’re disappointed,” said DDA board President David Hauter. “The project isn’t at all like they represented to us a year ago.”The Department of Transportation originally presented the GAPP to the city as extending from the Grand Avenue bridge to 23rd Street.Authority member Sue Sharp, a downtown business owner, said city officials gave her group a Sept. 10 letter from the Department of Transportation that describes a scaled-back project that stops short of 23rd Street.”Why bother?” Sharpe asked Thursday.The department’s letter only mentions a “shortening of the project,” and doesn’t describe any plans for construction south of 14th Street.The authority sent a memo to the City Council for discussion at its meeting Thursday night that advises CDOT to downgrade the GAPP to “standard maintenance treatment.” Leftover funds should be put toward pedestrian improvements and an environmental impact study for the relocation of Highway 82, authority members said. The memo said CDOT previously presented the GAPP as an opportunity to “enhance” downtown intersections with colored and scored concrete, with the potential to increase safety for pedestrians.”The bottom line is now, as it has always been, that CDOT has a state highway, and we do not have a main street,” the authority’s memo concludes. “The DDA wants safe and clean, CDOT wants strong and fast.”Owen Leonard, the department’s regional director in Grand Junction, said he isn’t sure whether the project’s scope has changed, but guessed that some design details are still being worked out.Leonard said Thursday he isn’t familiar with the Sept. 10 letter, but thinks CDOT engineers perceived the changes as “routine design elements.”Department spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said she didn’t hear any concerns from Glenwood Springs residents following an Aug. 27 open house that explained the project.”According to our engineers, the open house was somewhat uneventful,” Shanks said. “I didn’t get there until the end of the open house, but nothing came up out of the ordinary.”The project’s nine-month timeline comes because CDOT plans to rip Grand Avenue pavement down to dirt and repave the roadway with concrete, which takes more time than paving with asphalt.”This will disrupt our business for a year,” Sharpe said, speaking for herself and neighboring downtown merchants.CDOT has said concrete will last longer than asphalt, and require less maintenance.Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext.

Proposed GAPP construction phasing-Feb. 1 to March 15: Construct east and west legs of 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Street intersections, and possibly 13th and 14th Streets.-March 15 to Memorial Day: Construction between 8th and 11th streets. -Memorial Day to Labor Day: Construct 13th and 14th street intersections.-Labor Day to Dec. 31: Complete construction between 8th and 11th streets.-During spring and fall construction periods downtown, the 9th, 10th and 11th street intersections would be closed at the same time, rather than only two intersections at a time.-Construction will occur on weekdays, weeknights and weekends.Source: Sept. 10 letter from the Colorado Department of Transportation to the city of Glenwood Springs

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