Smooth roll into work week with 8th Street bridge closure
A long backup on Midland Avenue north of the 27th Street roundabout and at Midland and Eighth Street seemed to be the biggest pinch-points during the first business day of the Eighth Street bridge closure this morning.
Glenwood Springs’ Eighth Street bridge, west of downtown and just east of Midland Avenue, closed Saturday and is expected to remain closed for another week until Oct. 18.
The work is in preparation for a new, straight connection from Grand Avenue to Midland, part of the larger Grand Avenue bridge project and eventual Colorado 82 detour.
Colorado Department of Transportation and Glenwood Springs city officials coordinated to ease traffic congestion at 82/South Glen and 27th Street by creating two dedicated left-turn lanes back into downtown and adjusting the signal timing. With traffic control in place at the roundabout, things seemed to be moving along, if a bit slow, based on casual observations.
Things also went fairly smooth with the morning student drop-offs at both Sopris Elementary School and at Glenwood Springs Elementary, which was more directly impacted by the downtown bridge closure.
“Kids were on time for the most part, and our buses were on time,” GSES Principal Audrey Hazleton said. “In our communications with parents, we really encouraged them to carpool and to use the bus.”
It appeared that may have been successful, as fewer parents seemed to be dropping off students this morning, principals at both GSES and SES said.
At Sopris, Principal Kathy Whiting said one bus delivering students from the Ironbridge area was late arrive, and the school had about 35 students arrive late, up from the usual 15 or so, she said.
“I did notice a couple more carpools today involving multiple families, so that was cool to see,” Whiting said. “We will forgive the tardies today, but by tomorrow we will hope they will be on track to get their kids here on time.”
Meanwhile, traffic seemed to be flowing pretty smoothly at Interstate 70 Exit 116 heading into downtown Glenwood Springs. During the Eighth Street bridge closure, commuters passing through Glenwood are advised to stay on I-70 to the main Glenwood exit rather than taking the West Glenwood exit onto Midland Avenue.
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Citing employee safety and cost effectiveness, the city will soon relocate the five departments currently housed in its Municipal Operations Center (MOC).