City, CDOT working on Highway 82 access plan |

City, CDOT working on Highway 82 access plan

Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Efforts are under way between city and state transportation officials to prepare a 20-year master plan aimed at controlling access points along State Highway 82 through Glenwood Springs.

The Highway 82 Access Control Plan takes in a 4.8-mile stretch of Highway 82 from the Interstate 70 Exit 116 onto Sixth Street, Grand Avenue and South Glen Avenue through Glenwood Springs, and continuing south of town to the Orrison Distributing access.

The goal of the plan is to define future improvements that will provide safe, effective access onto and off the thoroughfare, while supporting existing businesses, Glenwood Springs Assistant Public Works Director Dave Betley stated in a press release.

The city, along with Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), have contracted with engineering consultants Stolfus and Associates to develop the plan.

A public open house to present the work to date, along with some preliminary recommendations, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23, at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. A specific time is to be announced.

“The Access Control Plan is a planning tool that allows the city and CDOT to establish a master plan for access along 82,” Betley said.

It will establish an access policy to be implemented whenever development or redevelopment occurs in certain areas, he said.

“This does not mean we will be removing or adding access points at the present time,” Betley said. “In the long term, this plan will save time and money for the city, as well as improve traffic flow on Grand Avenue and Highway 82.”

It includes an assessment of current access points where vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians now enter and exit or cross Highway 82 within the plan area. Some of those accesses are public, while many are private, including several residential driveways.

The plan guarantees property owners the right of reasonable access to the public street system. However, the recommendations include a variety of controls, including combining some access points.

Several driveway and business accesses, as well as some public streets, could also be designated as right-turn-in, right-out only accesses. Among them are Maple Street (off Sixth), as well as Hyland Park Drive South and Park Drive South near Sayre Park.

Hyland Park Drive North could also eventually be realigned with Park Drive North, the preliminary plan suggests.

Farther to the south, several of the business driveways on the east side of South Glen Avenue between 23rd Street and the city limits could also be designated as right-in, right-out, under the plan.

Garfield County is not a financial partner in developing the plan, but the county has participated in regards to the areas south of Glenwood Springs city limits that will be included.

The Access Control Plan will have to be formally adopted by the city, county and CDOT. Once adopted, future development requiring a highway access permit would have to conform to the access plan. Any modifications to the plan would also have to be approved.

City and state transportation planners point out that access management improves safety.

“Studies have shown a 30 percent to 60 percent reduction in accidents on roadways where access management techniques are implemented,” according to the city press release.

The Highway 82 Access Plan project began in February and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

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