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Glenwood wants CDOT to share bridge info early and often

Glenwood Springs city officials would like to see the Colorado Department of Transportation get well ahead of the game in getting information out about the Grand Avenue Bridge construction once it starts next year.

“There are a lot of people out there with a lot of misinformation, and any information earlier would be helpful … so that we as a city can explain to citizens what is going on,” Mayor Mike Gamba said Monday during a meeting with regional CDOT officials.

Gamba said he and other City Council members were concerned to see in reviewing the 90 percent bridge design plans last week that the bridge contractor’s public relations efforts aren’t slated to begin until about a week before construction starts on the project.

The initial phases of the bridge construction are expected to begin in January, although a full closure of the existing bridge to make way for the new one is not expected until late August 2017.

That’s when a 90-day detour through town using a combination of Midland Avenue and several downtown streets will be in place.

Gamba’s comments came during an annual meeting between CDOT Region 3 officials, Garfield County commissioners and representatives from area municipalities to give a status report on highway construction and maintenance projects in the region.

Tracy Trulove, CDOT’s Region 3 communications director, said after the meeting that the draft public relations plan for the bridge project is still being refined. But that plan will be in place and operational well before January, she said.

When it comes to disseminating information about specific aspects of the project as construction activity progresses, timing is everything, Trulove said.

“We would rather give the right information at the right time,” she said.

Detailed information about specific traffic delays or other disruptions that might impact the traveling public is best given no more than a week out, otherwise it’s easy for people to forget, she said.

Plus, project officials might not know those specific details until closer to that time, she said.

The public relations plan calls for disseminating that information via the project website that is already active, as well as various media outlets and social media avenues such as Twitter and Facebook.

As was done with the Grand Avenue Paving Project in the mid-2000s, contractor representatives will be out visiting businesses and knocking on doors in impacted neighborhoods spreading information, according to the draft plan.

“We are working really hard to make sure this plan is ready to go when it needs to go,” Trulove said.

The city also hopes to duplicate that information through its own communications outlets, such as the city website and Cable Channel 10.


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