All-asphalt GAPP worth a close look |

All-asphalt GAPP worth a close look

Is a shorter Grand Avenue repaving project, which will require more frequent repairs in the future, better than one long project that will be good for the next 30 years?

Maybe so.

Downtown merchants are looking for something ” anything ” to avoid the 10 months of paving work slated under the present plan. It would run from July 2004 through May 2005.

So when Colorado Department of Transportation resident engineer Karen Rowe suggested an all-asphalt option, which might take as little as three weeks, plenty of ears perked up.

A few days later, Rowe backpedaled a bit, saying an all-asphalt job might take at least six weeks.

That’s getting a lot closer to the estimated two-month duration of concrete paving in any one block. But it’s unclear whether the two time estimates are for the same scope of work.

At this point, Glenwood Springs leaders need a more accurate set of estimates for the different paving options to offer an informed opinion.

If concrete paving will take just a couple more weeks per block than asphalt, it makes sense to go ahead with that as a more long-lasting and durable road surface.

If asphalt takes significantly less time, then CDOT ought to give Grand Avenue merchants and the valley’s drivers a break and go for the shorter-term fix.

Yes, we will have to relive it every eight years or so, and by then we will ask ourselves, “Why didn’t we go for concrete when we had the chance?”

Shorter but more frequent repaving projects may ultimately add up to more weeks of disruption over the course of 30 years. But if the asphalt option is short enough, it’s better to live through it a few more times than to have the concrete option kill off downtown this year.

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