City to step up the lowering of Eighth Street, realignment of Seventh Street |

City to step up the lowering of Eighth Street, realignment of Seventh Street

The $508,375 in emergency funding set to be requested from the Glenwood Springs City Council tonight is not really an emergency. City manager Mike Copp says it’s more of a “timing thing.”

Council will consider a resolution requesting “emergency procurement of construction services for the construction of Seventh and Eighth streets.”

Copp said the unusual move is necessary because by the time final engineering for the rebuild of Eighth Street and the realignment of Seventh Street is complete, it will be too late to put the project out to bid and finish the job by the time City Hall opens.

As a result, city staff decided to use the emergency procurement section of the Municipal Code to get the job done faster.

The City Hall project itself is on budget and on schedule to be finished by July 8, said Pat Seydel, project manager for the city.

The $5.5 million building is in various stages of completion, with most of the outside brickwork and inside drywall work done. Doors, wiring, ceiling tiles and many of the windows still need to be installed.

The police station in the “garden level” is closest to being finished, with painted walls, lockers and near-finished plumbing.

On the rest of the building, many of the windows are in, but the large, windowed foyer on the south side of the building that will serve as the public’s entrance still has a long way to go.

The Glenwood Springs Police Department will have its entrance at the west and south ends of the new building on the garden level. Officers and administrators will have a lot more room to stretch their legs, as the new department is about three times as big as the current station.

Also, there will be a parking lot at the old Municipal Operations Center where city employees will be mandated to park that will also provide more public parking.

The $508,375 request to complete the improvements to Seventh and Eighth streets is already budgeted, Copp assured. He said the city sought bids from two local companies, Gould Construction and Meldor Construction, on the plans the city has so far. Gould came in with the lowest bid and will do the job if the emergency procurement is approved.

“Our code gives us pretty broad discretion there,” Copp said.

Copp said the city was forced to go about it this way because time is running out.

The streets job needs to get started soon in order to be complete by the beginning of July, so City Hall employees can begin moving in during July and City Hall can be operational in August.

“We knew it had to be done all along, it’s part of the plan,” Seydel said.

Seydel said the road work includes major regrading on Eighth Street and a sharp southerly turn for Seventh Street to connect it to Eighth Street near the southwest corner of the new City Hall.

“By the time (Eighth Street) gets to School Street, it’s going to be five-and-a-half feet lower,” Seydel said.

Eighth Street will follow the same course it does now. But the grade will be lowered one section at a time so it will drop to the same level as the Eighth Street Bridge, just across the railroad tracks. The plan is to replace the curved Seventh Street connection to the bridge that now exists with a straight-on Eighth Street connection.

If approved by council, work on Eighth Street will start in about two weeks. Once it begins, no parking will be allowed on Eighth Street past School Street, as the road will be under construction. Parking will, however, be available on the dirt road near the railroad wye, which is accessed from Seventh Street just west of the new jail.

“If we don’t get started on this in a couple of weeks, it won’t be done by the time City Hall opens,” Seydel said. “There’s so many utilities in that area, it’s one of the hardest places in the city to design a road. It’s just been hard to get those things worked out with the design.”

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