Concrete issues discussed at Grand Avenue paving open houses |

Concrete issues discussed at Grand Avenue paving open houses

It didn’t take long for Ken Kranz to cast his ballot on one of the most important questions for the massive Grand Avenue paving project slated for 2004.

“Evening construction has its advantages,” Kranz told another businessman at Wednesday’s open house for the project. “It would eliminate some of the potential challenges we face. Night construction is used in Denver. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation held an open house on the project Wednesday evening at Glenwood Springs City Hall. The open house continues today from 7:30-10 a.m.

Karen Rowe, CDOT resident engineer in Glenwood Springs, said her department will decide on construction hours and other issues in July or August, then hold another public input session before the final plan is approved.

Whether to reconstruct Grand Avenue in the downtown area from April through June 2004 or September through November 2004 remains undecided.

“Several businesses told me September through November isn’t nearly as busy as April through June,” Rowe said. “So we’ll consider that.”

The $3.2 million concrete paving project will extend for 1.1 miles up Grand Avenue from 8th Street to 24th Street, and is expected to take eight months.

Grand Avenue is part of Highway 82 and is maintained by CDOT, not the city of Glenwood Springs.

Some who attended the workshop asked whether the new Grand Avenue will go “thump, thump, thump” when vehicles roll over it, like they do on Carbondale’s 20-year-old concrete Main Street.

“You won’t hear it at all,” said Angela Folkestad, spokeswoman for the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association.

Folkestad said dowel bars, which have only been used in the past 10 to 15 years, will be implanted in the pavement to connect the concrete panels. The dowels prevent the panels from rising and falling under the weight of vehicles.

As a final step, the concrete surface will be textured to keep the road from whining like some sections of Interstate 70. “It’s very quiet after we texture it,” Folkestad said. “It won’t produce noise like the interstate.”

The open house included 15 feet of illustration panels showing the entire length of Grand Avenue and the 140 businesses in the construction zone, from the Riviera Supper Club at the north end to the Texaco station at the south end.

The panels also showed the side streets of Cooper Avenue to the east, and Colorado Avenue to the west. Rowe said CDOT won’t detour traffic onto those streets, but City Council member Rick Davis said motorists are sure to find those streets on their own.

“We’ll have to work hand in hand with the police department to make sure we protect those neighborhoods,” Davis said as he moved through the crowd to view the displays.

Tracy Wolff, co-owner of Turtle’s Liquor at 1918 Grand Ave., pointed to her store on the illustration panel, but said the project’s magnitude hasn’t yet sunk in.

“This workshop has been hugely enlightening,” she said.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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