Glenwood Springs city staff recommends keeping Blake gate closed into 2021
Glenwood Springs City Council is being asked by city staff to delay the opening of the Blake gate until later in 2021.
The gate, dating back to the 1980s when the Roaring Fork Marketplace was developed, is on South Blake Avenue near Walmart.
The item is up for discussion and/or action during Thursday’s regular City Council meeting.
The staff report included with the council packet asks to delay the opening until the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for any building in the Triumph-Bell Rippy development, which is just north of Walmart. There is no estimate of when that might be.
“The Triumph-Bell Rippy project construction is anticipated to start in early 2021, and we do not yet have an anticipated construction timeline,” Glenwood Assistant City Manager Jennifer Ooton said in an email.
Council voted on July 23 to open the gate this year, pending community outreach meetings and staff recommendations.
A neighborhood meeting is planned for Oct. 28, according to the staff report, allowing the Engineering Department time to develop alternatives for the configuration of Blake Avenue.
In association with the development, Blake will undergo construction by both the city and the developer.
The city’s 2021 budget includes funding to design and reconstruct Blake from 23rd Street to Highway 82.
The developer is intending to add traffic-calming measures as well, including a slim line median at the location of the current site of the gate and a tabletop pedestrian crossing across Blake Avenue into the RFTA BRT parking lot, according to the staff report.
No construction plans will be finalized by the city until after receiving public comment at the neighborhood meeting on Oct. 28, and that’s too late in the year to do construction as the asphalt plants will have closed, according to the staff report.
Staff also does not recommend opening the gate in spring, as the temporary road work needed would be a waste of money in advance of permanent work by the developer later on.
“If the Blake gate were to open next spring, it would likely be with temporary improvements, and they would have to be paid for by the city,” Ooton said. “The developer will be making utility connections and other improvements in this section of Blake that would be permanent.”
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