Glenwood Springs checks several mid-level projects off to-do list |

Glenwood Springs checks several mid-level projects off to-do list

Constructions crews continue to work near Riverview Drive between 12th and 13th Streets in Glenwood.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

The Grizzly Creek Fire, COVID-19, 500-year rain events, South Midland Avenue — it’s been a busy start to a new decade for Glenwood Springs city staff. Through it all; however, they’ve made significant headway on more than a few projects that flew under the radar.

Cardiff tank

What is it? An additional 500,000-gallon water tank located on the south end of town.

Approximate Project Cost: $900,000

Project Construction Start: May 2021

Project Substantial Completion: October 2021

Glenwood Springs Public Works Director Matt Langhorst said the city’s water infrastructure struggles to meet summertime irrigation needs on the south end of the city, especially in regards to the Cardiff and Park East subdivisions, Sopris Elementary School and Sullivan Park.

The city previously installed a single 500,000-gallon water tank in the area, but during periods of high demand, the tank’s water supply dropped precipitously.

“The second Cardiff tank allows us to stay ahead of that draw,” Langhorst said. “We’ll have 1 million gallons of storage out there, and one evening, they may hit us for 400,000 gallons of use, which would take one tank from 26-feet of water down to 6-feet of water, which is detrimental to the tank. But with 1 million, that would draw from both tanks, taking each down to about 17-feet of water.”

The city originally budgeted $1.7 million for the infrastructure addition, but Langhorst said the project came in under budget at a cost of $900,000. The remaining funds returned to the city’s water fund for reallocation to other projects, Langhorst said.

Iron Mountain Lift Station

What is it? A lift station is a pump that pressurizes sewage flows, pushing them to a location where they can be gravity-fed to the sewage treatment plant.

Approximate Project Cost: $850,000

Project Construction Start: January 2021

Project Substantial Completion: July 2021

The lift station adjacent to Iron Mountain Hot Springs was nearing the end of its life when hot springs owner Steve Beckley approached the city about upgrading the station.

“We knew we were going to have to replace the lift station one way or the other, and Beckley was hoping for a larger lift station to handle the potential for increased flow,” Langhorst said. “So we teamed up and split the cost for design and construction, which was a very fair deal for us.”

The new lift station is expected to last about 50 years, and the cost to the city was about $425,000.

Blake Avenue

What is it? The first phase of repairs and upgrades to Blake Avenue, located at the intersection of Colorado Highway 82 and running north to Walmart’s southern parking lot.

Approximate Project Cost: $310,000

Project Construction Start: May 2021

Project Complete: September 2021

The city replaced 600 linear feet of waterline, installed two new storm sewer inlets and 100 linear feet of storm sewer line, laid concrete pads at the Highway 82 intersection and at bus stops along Blake Avenue, milled the road down 2 inches and rebuilt an asphalt pavement overlay. Most of the work was completed by city crews, Langhorst said.

“Blake Avenue from Walmart to Highway 82 has always caused us problems,” he said.

Two storm sewer inlets were at the root of the issues, often causing the roadbase to fail, creating a number of potholes. The inlets didn’t connect to the city’s storm sewer system.

“They didn’t go anywhere,” Langhorst said. “When they built the development in the ’80s, they installed the storm sewer inlets, and they installed the manhole connector downstream, but they never connected the two of them.”

All of the water running off Blake Avenue and Walmart’s southern parking flowed into the unconnected inlets, saturating the road grade underneath the avenue.

Connecting the inlets and overlaying the road were originally separate projects, but Langhorst said it made more sense to complete the two at the same time.

The city’s water fund paid $60,000 of the overall project costs, and the Street Tax Fund paid $250,000 for the resurfacing portion.

Work on Blake Avenue from Blake Gate to Walmart’s southern parking is slated to begin in 2022.

Phase One of Red Mountain South

What is it? An infrastructure update to the Red Mountain subdivision, including upgrading waterlines and a storm sewer system as well as rebuilding roadway and sidewalk.

Approximate Project Construction Cost: $1.95 million

Project Construction Start: July 2021

Project Substantial Completion: October 2021, cleanup and sidewalks to continue into November

While upgrading the city’s infrastructure is a Sisyphean task — there’s always more to be done — Langhorst said his staff were alerted to the dire infrastructure needs in the Red Mountain subdivision, west of Midland Avenue, when fire crews battling a structure fire in recent years discovered that not only were the fire hydrants spread far and wide, but the water pressure was far below standard.

During the first phase of the project, the city replaced 1,500 linear feet of 6-inch, thin-wall, steel piping with 8-inch PVC waterlines, rebuilt 1,500 linear feet of roadway and installed 1,500 linear feet of sidewalk and gutter along Riverview Drive between 13th and 10th streets.

“We’ve upgraded all the sanitary sewer manholes, added a storm sewer system and added fire hydrants,” Langhorst said.

Phase two of the project is scheduled to begin in 2022, and is slated to replace more waterline, create a storm sewer system to feed into Riverview Drive, rebuild roads and install new sidewalks throughout the subdivision.

This project is being paid for by the Street Tax Fund and the city’s water department, Langhorst said.

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at

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