Highway resurfacing may cause bumpy roads | PostIndependent.com

Highway resurfacing may cause bumpy roads

It’s a good idea to hit the road early to get to work in Glenwood Springs if you drive Interstate 70 each day. More than a few orange barrels will soon slow you down. But many in Glenwood are optimistic that road construction won’t give the tourists a reason to steer clear of the Roaring Fork Valley. On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Transportation will begin an extensive resurfacing project on I-70 between milepost 112 and the Glenwood exit just beyond milepost 116. Guardrails and rockfall barriers will get an upgrade between mileposts 110 and 111. During the project, traffic will be reduced to a single lane and the speed limit will drop to 45 mph. The project will continue through October. CDOT will try to minimize traffic congestion by avoiding work during the morning and evening rush hours. Work will occur weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to dusk in the eastbound lanes and 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the westbound lanes. Workers may occasionally work nights and weekends as well. CDOT spokeswoman Mindy Crane said the agency chose to begin the project during the Fourth of July week because the July and August heat is ideal for paving projects. Crane said CDOT has a restricted construction season in the high country because it gets cold here before it does in Front Range cities. Work must be complete before temperatures become too cold for paving, she said. Construction will not take place at all between July 1 and 4, preventing any impact to tourists this weekend, she said. “We don’t anticipate a major impact to Glenwood,” Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association President Marianne Virgili said of the project. The city has endured construction on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon for years, she said, but while that project impacted the city, it didn’t generally reduce the number of tourists visiting town, she said. Travelers, she said, are used to road construction. Larry MacDonald, general manager of the Hotel Colorado, said he doesn’t believe the four-month construction project will drive away tourists. “I don’t think that’s really going to impact us,” he said of the project. “People that get in their cars, … they’re going to drive to their destination. As a family who travels, we don’t let road work deter us.”Though he said the roadwork won’t be a problem, “we’ll see through next week.”Real estate agent and Glenwood City Councilor Chris McGovern said that while the project may be inconvenient, “I think that everybody’s a professional and they’re all trying to make it work as best as possible.”She said many factors impact business in Glenwood, and it’s not just orange barrels. It’s high gas prices and even the summer heat, she said. Is she optimistic about the roadwork’s impacts?”I have to be,” she said. Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520bmagill@postindependent.com

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