Glenwood Springs City Council hopes free in-town transit and discounted downtown curb and gutter replacement will help take some of the edge off the remaining part of the Grand Avenue Paving Project.Glenwood Springs City Council hopes free in-town transit and discounted downtown curb and gutter replacement will help take some of the edge off the remaining part of the Grand Avenue Paving Project.Council voted last week to waive fares for Ride Glenwood Springs from Feb. 14 through the conclusion of the project. It also decided to contribute $140,000 toward the curb and gutter project, with the Colorado Department of Transportation picking up the rest of the $190,000 total cost. Council hopes that free in-town bus service will get more people out of their cars during the paving project.Work took place last fall on the southern portion of the project, going faster and with fewer traffic delays than expected. Council decided to offer free transit because of the increased impacts expected now that the project shifts to the downtown retail core and the south end of the Grand Avenue Bridge.Some minor wrap-up utility work left over from last year is taking place this week farther south on Grand. Concrete Works of Colorado will then begin repaving on Ninth and Tenth streets Feb. 14 through April 8, and then perform the bridge/Eighth Street work through May 22.Council unanimously decided the free bus service would help ease congestion during the project and the extra expense wouldn’t be that much.The city hadn’t budgeted money for the curb and gutter work. However, the existing curbs and gutters from Eighth to 10th streets are nearly 20 years old, and have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years. By state law, the curbs and gutters are the city’s responsibility.Council decided it made sense to replace the curbs and gutters in conjunction with the paving project, and with the state’s financial help.The city also will use the opportunity to remove, refurbish and reinstall street lights downtown. Also, pavers that will be removed during the work will be put back in place.City Council member Dave Merritt said that while the city initially had reservations about CDOT’s Grand Avenue project, it promises to benefit the city in the end.”I do think we’re going to end up with a downtown that’s much better,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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