‘Deeply disappointed:’ 27th Street Bridge closed possibly until Saturday
The 27th Street Bridge in Glenwood Springs was supposed to reopen ahead of Monday morning’s rush hour commute.
Now, the city anticipates the 27th Street Bridge to remain closed possibly until Saturday.
According to a news release, crews must still remove temporary asphalt on the west side of the bridge and replace it with concrete.
That work – weather dependent – will begin early this week.
While the bridge could stay closed until Saturday, the new roundabout could reopen to vehicles by Tuesday. Crews completed concrete pours in the roundabout Friday.
According to the news release, the concrete needs three to four days to reach sufficient strength before vehicles can safely drive on it.
Crews must also seal the concrete prior to reopening the roundabout.
Earlier 27th Street Bridge and roundabout openings are possible depending on weather and concrete cure times, the news release said.
The pedestrian bridge at 27th Street remains open and Eighth Street remains the designated detour route for motorists.
“The city is deeply disappointed in how this project has progressed,” Debra Figueroa, Glenwood Springs city manager, said in the news release.
Contractor Ralph L. Wadsworth was paid $9.8 million to complete the project’s construction, which included a bridge slide technique intended to minimize traffic impacts.
“I am sincerely apologetic for the impact this has had on our community and am thankful to our residents for their understanding and support as we finish this project,” Figueroa said in the news release.
The city also announced it had removed landscaping and wall coating work from Ralph L. Wadsworth’s contract. Instead, either the city or a different contractor will complete that work in 2020.
Following Saturday’s new release from the city, Councilor Tony Hershey issued his own statement calling for a “full and complete investigation by an independent auditor and/or engineers.”
“It is crucial that we have a full and complete audit of this project from start to finish and find out what went wrong here and why,” Hershey said in the statement. “This is the people’s money and what happened here is not acceptable.”
According to the news release, Ralph L. Wadsworth was supposed to have completed the project no later than Dec. 5.
“The city is keeping track of damages and lane closure fees and has preserved its right to assess those fees,” Karl Hanlon, Glenwood Springs city attorney, said in the news release. “The city has held off on collecting the fees to avoid additional delays and to ensure the project is finished as soon as possible.”
The city could deduct a $43,000 lane rental fee for each day the bridge was closed past approved times like the 84-hour bridge slide, which also experienced delays.
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The Small Business Administration released data this week on Payroll Protection Program loans that were awarded for more than $150,000. An analysis by The Aspen Times shows that 269 businesses and nonprofit organizations from Aspen to Glenwood Springs were awarded loans.