Garfield County commissioners reject Highway 82 access plan
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Garfield County commissioners have declined to enter an agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to implement an access control plan for a 4-mile stretch of Colo. Highway 82 south of Glenwood Springs.
The 2-1 decision by the commissioners not to adopt the access plan means that only the portion of the plan along Highway 82 through Glenwood Springs will be implemented.
City Council voted earlier this month to sign on to the agreement, which lays out a long-term plan for eventually consolidating and restricting access onto and off the state highway as re-development or major public improvements occur in different areas, or as safety concerns arise.
County Commissioners John Martin and Tom Jankovsky objected to a recommendation in CDOT’s plan that would eventually remove the traffic signal at the County Road 154 intersection near the former Buffalo Valley restaurant and the Mountain View Church.
That would only happen should the proposed South Bridge connection to Highway 82 go forward. That project would include a new signalized intersection a short distance to the south, between the Holy Cross Energy headquarters and the Jackson ranch.
Both Martin and Jankovsky said they would prefer to see a more detailed plan to accommodate residents and businesses that would be impacted if no left turns were allowed onto the highway from 154 Road.
“I say leave both [signals], and people on their way to Aspen can just wait a little longer,” Martin said.
Martin also said the access plan as it impacts residents and businesses within Glenwood Springs city limits is unacceptable.
“It just causes a lot of trouble, more than it solves,” he said, adding the plan seems to be geared toward creating “an expressway to get to Aspen,” rather than serving Glenwood Springs’ needs.
Jankovsky made it clear his “nay” vote only related to the portions of the access plan outside the city limits.
Commissioner Mike Samson said he could go along with the access plan.
“It’s not the greatest, but it’s the best we’ve got right now,” Samson said.
Four Mile Road contract OK’d
In another transportation-related matter before the Garfield County commissioners Monday, the board agreed to award a $3.3 million contract to Gould Construction for improvements to Four Mile Road, including work to improve visibility at the so-called “Dead Man’s Curve.”
Also included in the project will be the realignment of the Black Diamond Mine Road intersection and a new bridge across Four Mile Creek. The upper two miles of the road leading to Sunlight Mountain Resort will also be paved.
Some residents along the road, including those in the Oak Meadows subdivisions, had objected to the work that’s planned on the curve, which will involve scaling back the rock face to improve the line of sight. Residents said the improvements may lead to rockfall problems and speeding, where the sharp curve now serves as a way to control speed.
Some land acquisition is needed to complete the work, which is not expected to begin until later this year and would continue into next year.
Also, one of the bidders for the work, Con-Sy Inc., may consider filing a protest to the bid award. Con-Sy was originally the recommended low bidder to receive the contract, until the county determined the company is no longer registered as a business based in Garfield County.
The county has a local preference provision included in its contract bidding procedures. Con-Sy formerly was located in Garfield County, but has recently moved its offices to Grand Junction, a company representative said during the Monday commissioners’ meeting.
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