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Paving project nameless but Grand

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A contest is afoot to name the massive Grand Avenue paving project set for 2004.How about an obvious one for starters – The GAPP, for The Grand Avenue Paving Project.The new section of Highway 82 through the city will be made of concrete, a hard surface and light in color, so maybe it should be named after the rock group Concrete Blonde.Then there’s the Hollywood angle. The new stretch of Highway 82 will be just over 5,280 feet long and cost a bunch of money, so why not The Green Mile?Those are some names that might surface when the Colorado Department of Transportation picks a moniker for its $3.2 million Grand Avenue paving project, now called STA 0821-064.”A name adds personality,” said Department of Transportation spokesperson Bob Wilson. “There’s a degree of fun to it, and it brands a project.”The name and other topics will discussed when CDOT holds open houses in Glenwood Springs to explain and take input on the paving project, which is scheduled to take place from April through November 2004.The open houses will be held at Glenwood Springs City Hall from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5, and from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 6.Karen Rowe, CDOT resident engineer in Glenwood Springs, said the department is especially interested in feedback from three groups: the business community, residents who live near Grand Avenue and commuters.”They all have different views of the project, so we need their input to build a consensus,” Rowe said.Many project details aren’t yet worked out, including whether construction should take place during the day or night. Nighttime construction means fewer traffic delays, but residents trying to sleep might object to the noise.”Maybe there would be nighttime construction in one area, but not in others,” Rowe said.Rowe said construction will extend from 8th Street to 23rd Street, and will begin downtown. Some details have been finalized, or are close to being finalized, including:-The construction will happen in three sections: 8th to 11th Street, 11th Street to Hyland Park Drive, and Hyland Park Drive to 23rd Street.-From 11th Street to 23rd Street, every other intersection will be closed during construction.-Some Roaring Fork Transit Authority bus stops on Grand Avenue might be moved to Colorado Avenue or Blake Avenue.-CDOT will encourage motorists to use the Highway 82 alternate route on Midland Avenue, but that road will still be closed to trucks.CDOT officials will present displays, maps, diagrams and technical information at the open houses, and everyone who uses Grand Avenue is invited to stop by. Rowe said she has already met with city officials and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.”Our mission is to construct a quality project with as little inconvenience as possible,” Rowe said.Chamber director Marianne Virgili said her group has formed a committee to address problems the paving project may create.”It’s going to offer a lot of challenges, but also some real opportunities,” Virgili said. For one thing, the chamber will work to build ridership in the city’s Ride Glenwood bus system during the construction period, and she hopes that ridership will continue when the paving project is complete.The city might also use the paving project to construct its own downtown improvements, such as colored and stamped sidewalks and crosswalks, which Virgili said would slow traffic and also look good.”In the end, the project will be good for the city and good for our transportation system,” Virgili said.Rowe said CDOT chose concrete over asphalt because it lasts longer and requires less maintenance.Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534lburton@postindependent.com


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