Beware morning backups at West Glenwood roundabouts | PostIndependent.com

Beware morning backups at West Glenwood roundabouts

This shot by Greg DeRosa of Premier Aerials shows deck work already being done on the new Grand Avenue traffic bridge.
Greg DeRosa / Premier Aerials |

Motorists are being advised to expect backups at the Interstate 70 Exit 114 north roundabout during a particularly busy part of the morning while work is underway for the next three months to prepare for the Grand Avenue bridge detour later this year.

If possible, motorists who can adjust their morning travel schedule through West Glenwood should do so, especially between about 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m., Tom Newland, bridge project public information manager, said Wednesday after project officials were bombarded with calls from angry drivers trying to navigate the area.

Construction started this week on the south roundabout at Exit 114 to expand the lanes and prepare for the upcoming bridge/Colorado 82 detour onto Midland Avenue that is slated to begin Aug. 14.

During the morning rush, vehicles exiting I-70 from the west are being given priority while traffic coming through the roundabouts from the north side of I-70 is being held for long periods of time.

“We’ve got a real problem out there, especially during that peak half-hour of time when there’s just a lot of traffic with the middle school and the commuter rush,” Newland said. “We’re definitely aware of the situation and are looking at it from an engineering and traffic control standpoint and are doing what we can.

“If people can avoid that peak time at any cost, just five or 10 minutes on either side will get you out of the jam,” he said.

Traffic control will be in place through June when the West Glenwood work is expected to be completed, according to Newland.

Work includes improvements to the south roundabout median, new curbs and gutters, pedestrian crosswalk enhancement and overall widening of the roundabout to handle more traffic.

During the morning peak from 7-8:30 a.m., priority will be given to the I-70 eastbound off-ramp traffic to avoid interstate back-ups. Motorists are encouraged to use I-70 Exit 116 (main Glenwood exit) to alleviate congestion.

“If possible, shift your schedule, and students who are eligible should ride the school bus,” Newland suggested in his weekly column on Monday updating bridge construction activities and impacts.

Other new traffic impacts that began this week include closure of the I-70 Exit 116 eastbound on-ramp from 6-9 a.m. Monday through Friday for several months in order to accommodate bridge-related construction. The Exit 114 eastbound off-ramp is also reduced to one lane as crews work on improvements, and both eastbound and westbound I-70 approaching Exit 116 is reduced to one lane.