GAPP work on bridge gets off to a good start
With some shouts and shots of adrenaline, crews began pouring concrete early Saturday morning at the south end of the Grand Avenue bridge, the trickiest section of the Grand Avenue Paving Project.The work required restricting the bridge to just one lane, and alternating between letting cars drive north and south.Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson said the Concrete Works of Colorado crews, recognizing the urgency to get things done quickly, let out a battle cry before starting the pour about 4:30 a.m.”They all whooped and hollered, and away they went,” he said.Crews were able to restore the bridge to an open lane in each direction around 10:15 a.m., just as the traffic was threatening to back up enough to make Wilson uncomfortable.By and large, though, things went pretty well, he said. But he warned that two more concrete pours are scheduled for different lanes on the same stretch of the bridge, and they may take place on weekdays. Wilson said holding off on each pour until a weekend would delay the project unduly.”It might make some sense from a traffic standpoint, but it doesn’t make any sense from the standpoint of getting things done,” he said.GAPP spokesman Tom Newland said any weekday pours would occur between the morning and evening rush hours. The dates of the pours will be announced in advance.Newland said good weather continues to aid the GAPP work.”March has not been a very good snowboard month, unfortunately, but it’s been good for GAPP,” he said.As a result, GAPP could start wrapping up even earlier than Newland’s last revised projection of late April. GAPP originally had been scheduled to end in late May. It began last fall and involves repaving Glenwood’s main thoroughfare as far south as Sayre Park.”We could be pretty much off of Grand Avenue as far as lane closures and restrictions by mid-April,” he said.Wilson continues to be impressed by how smoothly the project is going, and how smoothly traffic generally is flowing while contractors work. “Traffic is a very sensitive issue in this town,” he said. “Considering where they’re working, I think it’s going amazingly well.”Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.