Full Seventh Street closure to last through summer, rest of downtown Glenwood project still on track
Although Glenwood Springs city officials anticipate that Gould Construction will follow through with its accelerated Seventh Street construction timeline, those plans no longer include opening one lane of traffic during the height of tourist season.
Earlier this year, City Council unanimously awarded Gould the first three phases of work for the Seventh Street project that included sanitary sewer installation and two “beautification” phases.
The three phases of work carried with them a total price tag of approximately $2.28 million. At the time, City Council also approved an additional $134,400 for an accelerated construction schedule.
The city had hoped that accelerated timeline would result in one lane of Seventh Street being open to traffic between July 2 and Aug. 29 to accommodate the downtown business community. However, those plans have since changed.
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“The thinking and the planning around it changed when there was a proposal to add the additional construction,” City Engineer Terri Partch said of the added sidewalk, west of the under bridge area that will extend to the intersection of Seventh and Colorado Avenue.
“With that additional sidewalk construction we realized that they couldn’t keep that lane open because they needed it for construction,” she said.
Though vehicle traffic won’t be allowed, Partch said that Gould was working hard to maintain pedestrian access during the ongoing construction.
“[Gould] also told the council that they could take that $134,000 of resources and accelerate the opening of the entire street from the east to the west,” Partch said. “That is essentially where that money has gone.”
Partch said that Gould was still on track to meet their late August or early September accelerated project completion date for the first three phases of work.
“I can tell you that Mark Gould and Mark Gould Jr. have worked hard to keep the project on time, even with the additional work that they have had,” Partch said. “I believe that we will finish on Aug. 29, or perhaps just a couple of weeks later.”
While that would mark the conclusion of the first three phases of the Seventh Street project, City Council has yet to decide whether to approve additional landscaping and stationary furniture, water features and a splash pad.
At its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, city staff has recommended that council award phase four of the project — landscaping and furniture — to Gould.
The landscaping and furniture phase would tack on a roughly $570,000 bill to the Seventh Street project, which has been billed as a future “festival street.”
Should council approve phase four, Partch said that the work would not interfere with two-way vehicular traffic or pedestrian accessibility along the street.
While the previous City Council unanimously approved the initial phases of the Seventh Street project, whether or not the three recently sworn-in councilors — Tony Hershey, Paula Stepp and Charlie Willman — will share that sentiment remains to be seen.
“We have hundreds of blocks that need to be fixed throughout the community, and that is where my focus is,” Hershey said Tuesday.
Additionally, according to a city staff report, “In the past, council has been concerned about the possibility of people attempting to sleep on city park benches. A center rail is one way to make bench space less inviting for sleeping.”
Should council adopt phase four and its benches, an additional change order for the benches may be considered.
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