Schools seek parent planning for bridge detour
The Roaring Fork Schools want to know how parents and their kids are planning to approach their daily commutes to and from school during the upcoming Grand Avenue bridge detour.
The school district last week launched an online survey asking parents to provide feedback on their personal plans during the 95-day detour period that is set to start Aug. 14. The survey results are intended to help the district better plan for transportation and building needs during the bridge closure.
Already, the district has delayed the start of the 2017-18 school year until the Tuesday after Labor Day, Sept. 5, in order to see how things shake out during the first couple of weeks of the detour and allow some time for adjustments.
As part of the final phase of the new bridge construction, the existing bridge that connects Colorado 82/Grand Avenue to Sixth Street and Interstate 70 will close on Aug. 14, and a detour will be in place until late November.
During that time, traffic will be diverted coming eastbound from I-70 Exit 114 onto Midland Avenue and Eighth Street before reconnecting to Grand Avenue in downtown Glenwood Springs.
The detour route will be the only way to access the west and north Glenwood areas by motor vehicle during that period.
“While we are all excited about this new infrastructure for our community, no one is looking forward to living through the construction process,” Superintendent Rob Stein said in a news release.
“We are all going to be living with a lot of inconvenience and, in some cases, hardship next fall,” he said. “And we are all going to need a lot of patience and cooperation.”
The bridge closure will affect around 1,100 Roaring Fork students and 175 staff members who cross the bridge daily to get to school in Glenwood Springs or farther up valley in Carbondale and Basalt.
Considerable traffic delays are anticipated, unless there is a 35 percent reduction in current peak-hour traffic, according to Colorado Department of Transportation officials.
“If the traffic reduction is not successful during those peak hours, which includes school commuting hours, motorists can anticipate considerable delays and substantially increased travel times of an hour or more throughout Glenwood Springs,” the district stated in its news release.
For its part, the district is working to alter bus routes and student drop-off and pick-up times in Glenwood, organizing student car pools, bike convoys and “walking school buses,” and eliminating school district business-related trips during peak times.
Different surveys are available for parents to complete, depending on which community and individual schools their children attend.
“Because some Basalt and Carbondale students commute from downvalley, we are asking parents in these communities to let us know if they are interested in participating in early or late supervision or programming,” the district also states in its release.
Surveys can be found in both English and Spanish via links included in the news release, which can be found on the Roaring Fork School District website. Emails with links to the survey have also been sent to all RFSD parents who have email accounts on file with the district.
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