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Residents say pave it at night

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Residents who responded to a Grand Avenue paving project survey want it done at night, as fast as possible, and they want heavy trucks diverted to Midland Avenue.

The Colorado Department of Transportation conducted the survey during recent public meetings to explain next year’s 1.1-mile paving project, which will extend from 8th Street to 23rd Street, and take eight months to complete.

CDOT will start finalizing construction plans in early April, and meet again with the public in November, said resident engineer Karen Rowe.



Rowe said a lot of Glenwood Springs residents have told her they don’t want any construction from Memorial Day to Labor Day of 2004.

“It’s going to be hard not to do any construction during that time, so we’ll look at ways to minimize the impacts,” she said.



A total of 59 people responded to CDOT’s seven-question survey at public meetings held Feb. 5 and 6. Nighttime construction, which would have fewer impacts on Grand Avenue traffic, was preferred over daytime construction by a 4-1 margin.

“There are some things you can’t do at night, though,” Rowe said. “You need to do the really noisy things during the day. Sawing concrete can get pretty loud.”

Rowe said survey respondents preferred construction to take place on two lanes at a time rather than one lane to finish the project faster, even though that method allows vehicles in only two lanes rather than three, which slows traffic.

“With two lanes, there’s a larger impact on traffic, but for a shorter amount of time,” Rowe said.

The new Grand Avenue will be made of concrete rather than asphalt. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in downtown in April 2004, then work its way south on Grand Avenue in two sections: from 11th Street to Hyland Park Drive, then from Hyland Park Drive to 23rd Street. Total cost is $3.2 million.

Survey respondents were allowed to write in their own comments.

One resident wrote, “Please, please, please make manhole covers flush (not lower, not higher) with road surface.”

Rowe said not only will the new manhole covers be flush after 2004 paving project, CDOT crews will try to make them flush this summer.

The most frequent comment was to divert truck traffic onto Midland Avenue to keep them off side streets east of Grand Avenue.

Heavy trucks are banned on Midland, and Rowe said it’s up to the city to decide whether to make an exception during the constriction project to allow them there.

Glenwood Springs city manager Mike Copp said trucks were banned from Midland in the mid-1990s when the road was turned into an alternate route through the city. Residents in the Midland Avenue area protested alternate route plans, but agreed to upgrading the road if trucks were not allowed.

Copp said it would require City Council action to allow trucks on Midland, and recent councils have opposed lifting the ban.

“Judging from the discussions that have taken place, it’s real important we preserve our neighborhoods as much as possible,” Copp said.

City Councilman David Merritt said any change in the Midland Avenue truck ban would only come after discussions with neighborhood groups. “But it’s probably something we’ll have to address,” he said.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

lburton@postindependent.com


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