Downtown Glenwood businesses brace for 7th Street construction closures
Beginning this month and lasting until the first week of July, businesses along Glenwood Springs’ Restaurant Row will remain open for customers, even as the street outside their storefronts will be closed for another round of construction.
According to city of Glenwood Springs officials, Seventh Street from Cooper to Colorado avenues will experience a full closure beginning Feb. 18 as work begins on the long-awaited Seventh Street Beautification Project.
Cece Zumwinkle, co-owner of Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse, whose front door welcomes customers off of Seventh Street, said Monday that the upcoming construction work was no surprise.
“Honestly, it’s been planned. And, that infrastructure work needs to be completed,” Zumwinkle said. “We knew it was going to happen and we’ll be happy when it’s all over.”
Earlier this year, Glenwood Springs City Council awarded a construction contract to local contractor Gould Construction for approximately $2.3 million to complete the first three phases of the beautification project. The first phase deals with sanitary sewer work, while phases two and three involve pedestrian-oriented streetscape work, public gathering areas and landscaping.
Additionally, councilors agreed to fork out an extra $134,000 for an accelerated project timeline. Subsequently, Seventh Street is expected to open to one lane the first week of July and will remain one lane until the completion of the first three phases of the project in August, according to a city news release.
With the construction of the first three phases beginning during the shoulder season and continuing through Glenwood’s busy season, how the disruption might impact restaurant and other business’s employees was not a question Zumwinkle had heard from her staff.
“There are off seasons and busy seasons, and I think they are OK with it,” Zumwinkle explained of her staff’s response to the upcoming work. “They have not expressed concerns over it to me.”
The city will host a public meeting Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. for the downtown business sector and community members to attend.
According to the news release, “The Feb. 11 meeting is intended to provide the most updated project information and timeline to residents and businesses. Community members are encouraged to attend and ask questions.”
Additionally, the city has scheduled monthly meetings intended to provide ongoing project updates on the last Tuesday of each month beginning in March and ending in August. The meetings are to take place at 9 a.m. in the City Council chambers, located in Glenwood Springs City Hall, 101 W. Eighth Street.
Envisioned as a “festival street,” the Seventh Street Beautification Project aims to create a pedestrian-oriented streetscape with the ability to close off the area to traffic during festivals. It will include bricked plaza areas, landscaping, places to sit, water features, and a venue for events under the bridge.
“I think a festival street sounds great but, for me, time will tell,” Zumwinkle added. “It will be a lovely street. Personally, I think it’s pretty nice now, but they have big ideas.”
Phases four, five and six of the project – to include additional landscaping and furniture, three water features and a splash pad, have yet to go out to bid.