It’s smoother sailing on 82 |

It’s smoother sailing on 82

A weekend of traffic headaches was the storm before the calm for the Carbondale to Glenwood Springs Highway 82 paving project.

“It’s pretty close to completion. It should be done by the end of the month,” said Karen Rowe, Colorado Department of Transportation resident engineer.

Rowe made the announcement at a joint meeting of CDOT officials and the Glenwood Springs City Council Tuesday.

When finished, drivers will enjoy new surface pavement between 23rd Street in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.

Rowe also told council that CDOT’s Grand Avenue paving project, originally slated to be done next summer, has been delayed until the summer of 2004. A highway project west of Vail took priority, she said.

“Our maintenance crew will maintain Grand next year, then it will be paved in 2004,” Rowe said.

The Grand Avenue paving job will be more extensive than the surface treatment given to Highway 82 this summer.

“They’ll be going down 14 inches,” she said.

Public hearings will be scheduled within the next year or so to plans how businesses will stay open during the job.

City and CDOT officials also discussed the crosswalk at 6th Street and Grand Avenue. Mayor Don Vanderhoof pushed for something to be done about the intersection after he saw a woman and her kids come “within a foot of being hit.”

“It’s an unsafe crossing,” he said.

One of the main dangers. he contends, is the “WALK” signal on the east side of Grand Avenue.

It is confusing to pedestrians, he said, because when it is lit, people crossing from Texaco to the island think the sign is referring to them. It actually is only telling those already on the island that it’s safe to walk east. Traffic turning right onto the Grand Avenue bridge from Sixth Street never stops, and pedestrians could step right out into the path of oncoming vehicles.

One idea conjured so far is to fence the island and install signs telling pedestrians not to cross there, but rather take the pedestrian route under the bridge.

But CDOT Region 3 director Owen Leonard said while he agrees with the concept, he doesn’t like the fence-and-sign idea. He said he’d try to help the city come up with another alternative.

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