Bridge Answer Man column: Eighth Street bridge closure looms
Eighth Street connection construction is making headway, and the 10-day Eighth Street bridge detour beginning Oct. 8 is just around the corner. Here’s what you need to know.
The goal with the Eighth Street project is to improve connectivity for motorists traveling from West Glenwood to downtown with a new section of road that will directly link Midland Avenue to Grand Avenue. This project was moved up in the overall Grand Avenue bridge project schedule from the summer of 2017 to alleviate traffic downtown prior to the traffic bridge closing next fall.
The 10-day Eighth Street bridge detour, which begins on Saturday, Oct. 8, and runs to Tuesday, Oct. 18, is necessary to make improvements to the bridge’s deck and repave the bridge before cold temperatures hit.
Nick Anderson, bridge project engineer, explains that during the temporary closure, crews will work on bridge rehabilitation and construct a traffic island to improve the right turn geometry at Eighth Street and Midland Avenue.
“We will remove the bridge’s original asphalt and waterproofing to expose the concrete,” he said. “Then we will inspect for damage and conduct the necessary repairs.”
The island will make for a better right turn radius to allow commercial trucks to turn safely during the 2017 traffic bridge detour.
This portion of west Eighth Street will see some more changes, he said.
“Because of the adjustments to the turn lane, the signal location and pedestrian path will be moved, along with the fire hydrant and storm drain,” Anderson said.
While the bridge is closed, local access will be maintained to businesses and residents on Eighth Street. Pedestrian access also will be maintained via the bridge sidewalk.
Measures are being taken to ensure a safe and smooth detour, though residents should prepare for longer delays during peak traffic hours, especially between 7:15-8:30 a.m.
The city of Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork School District are coordinating a plan for school bus rerouting and closing parking on the west side of School Street to allow for bus drop-off and pick-up near Glenwood Springs Elementary School. Local emergency medical services and first responders are meeting with the Grand Avenue bridge team and city administration for emergency access planning.
Motorists will use Interstate 70, Exit 116 (the main Glenwood exit) to reach the downtown area. Motorists can also use U.S. 6, but be cognizant of morning commute congestion and longer-than-usual delays.
• Crews will mobilize Monday for continued work on upgrading the city’s water line on Colorado 82 near Village Inn. This work will last for approximately two weeks, and will require the eastbound dedicated right turn lane on U.S. 6 to the I-70 interchange to be closed. The work will not impact pedestrian crossing.
• The southbound dedicated right turn lane on the corner of West Sixth Street and Laurel Street will be closed. Motorists can make a right turn from the center lane during the closure.
• The northbound right turn lane on Highway 82 and Sixth Street at the north end of the Grand Avenue bridge will be closed. This turn lane will be closed Monday to Friday for approximately three weeks. Anticipate traffic control directing traffic and pedestrian movements.
• Onlookers will continue to see the new pedestrian bridge and Seventh Street Station evolve. The canopies for the bridge’s lookout points will be constructed soon, along with construction for the station’s south stair structure.
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