No giddyap during GAPP
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The best advice Grand Avenue Paving Project spokesman Tom Newland has for drivers commuting up Grand Avenue on Tuesday morning is to allow plenty of extra driving time.
Aside from that, Newland said there isn’t a whole lot else anyone can do.
“People coming from the New Castle and Silt area should give 10 or 15 minutes extra time just in case,” he said. “It’s just to kind of check out what’s happening. You can kind of gauge the commute after that.”
Phase one of the GAPP project is slated to start at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Newland said. By rush hour that morning, the lanes will already be realigned.
For people commuting upvalley through Glenwood, the morning commute is expected to cause the most delays. That’s because there will only be one upvalley lane open during the initial phase of the project.
Newland said Concrete Works of Colorado, the contractor, would like to be able to switch the number of open lanes depending on the time of day, but he said it’s not feasible.
“Because of the way we’re doing the project, it’s pretty much impossible,” he said. “It would be a logistical nightmare to alternate.”
Newland said he doesn’t expect too much of a delay even with the single lane, but he doesn’t want to underestimate GAPP’s effects.
The objective of GAPP is to remove the existing asphalt on Grand Avenue and replace it with a new concrete surface from the bridge north of 8th
Street to the south end of Sayre Park. The project will be divided into four sections over a 30-week period starting on Sept. 7 and lasting until around next Memorial Day. There will, however, be a two-month break in construction during December and January.
Glenwood Springs city engineer Larry Thompson said city officials are as prepared as they can be for the project.
“The police department will be prepared to take reasonable action to help more traffic move and help it move more smoothly during construction,” Thompson said. “We know some people will want to avoid Grand Avenue. We’ll be prepared. We are adding one more bus route for the duration of construction.”
Ride Glenwood Springs is $1 for a ride and $2 for unlimited rides in one day.
Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson said the GAPP project could be a strain on people, but if they allow extra time and try to share rides, things will be a lot easier.
He said his main suggestion is for the parents of school children and older students who drive themselves to school to share rides.
“If we can get more kids on buses and more kids pooling with other kids, it’s going to make a huge difference,” he said. He also urged drivers to pay attention and use caution when driving through the construction zone.
“What we worry about as far as accidents is confusion and following too closely and that’s when you get rear-end accidents,” Wilson said.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
With any questions about GAPP, call Tom Newland at 945-9842. He also said the public is welcome to show up at any of the weekly GAPP meetings. They’ll be from 5-7 p.m. every Tuesday at 1010 Grand Ave. ” the old St. Stephen’s rectory.
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