City makes deal for mall parking during detour

A map of the Glenwood Springs Mall parking lot shows the areas to the right where the city has leased 438 spaces to be used for park-and-ride commuting during the upcoming Grand Avenue bridge detour.
Provided |

Commuters and people just trying to get from point A to point B in Glenwood Springs during the upcoming Grand Avenue bridge detour without driving their cars will have another park-and-ride option.

City Council on Thursday completed a deal with the owners of the Glenwood Springs Mall to lease 438 spaces in the easternmost portions of the mall parking lot nearest Mel-Ray Road for $50,000 during the detour period starting Aug. 14.

It’s part of the city’s effort to create as many park-and-ride options as possible during the 95-day detour when the Colorado Department of Transportation is aiming to reduce normal Colorado 82 and Midland Avenue traffic by up to 35 percent, especially during peak morning and evening commute times.

During the detour period, the existing Grand Avenue bridge that connects Colorado 82 to Interstate 70 and the Sixth Street corridor will be removed to make way for the final section of the new bridge.

Traffic headed through Glenwood Springs will be diverted onto Midland Avenue at Exit 114 in West Glenwood, east to Eighth Street and back onto Grand in the main part of downtown.

The dedicated spaces at the mall can be used by people to park their cars and jump in with a carpool headed upvalley or to the other side of town. People can also take one of the many free bus and in-town shuttle options that will be serving the West Glenwood area, or pedal or walk the rest of the way to their in-town destination.

The mall parking will be in addition to two new downtown parking lots that are being built on city property, as well as at least one other parking area on the north side of the Colorado River on city-owned land across from Two Rivers Park on Centennial Street that will provide more than 120 spaces.

The leased parking area at the mall will be on either side of the former Kmart store space on the east end of the property. The city will likely use barriers to designate the public parking area during the detour, according to the agreement.

The agreed-to 105-day lease period will run from the second week of August until Nov. 22. During that time, the city agreed to provide traffic control in and out of the parking area for peak morning and evening commute times, according to the lease terms.

Ride Glenwood buses and a planned north Glenwood shuttle running between the mall area and the north end of the new downtown pedestrian bridge will be free during the detour.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will also be running several free in-town shuttles and making its Grand Hogback route to and from New Castle, Silt, Rifle and Parachute free during the detour period in an attempt to cut down on vehicle traffic.

RFTA has arranged for additional park-and-ride locations at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle, on private property in the south Parachute area, in Silt near the existing Co-op stop, and in and around the existing park-and-ride lot in New Castle.

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