Tips to navigate the detour
With the detour route now in place to get commuters from western Garfield County into and through Glenwood Springs as quickly and efficiently as possible, here are some tips from project officials to make the trip a little smoother:
RFTA HOGBACK ROUTE: The ride on RFTA is free from Parachute to Glenwood. There’s no need for a coupon or pass — just hop on. The Hogback route also bypasses the detour route, so trip time is a known factor when riding RFTA.
After the first day of the detour, Cathy Jackson shared on Twitter that she took the bus from New Castle to Valley View Hospital for an appointment, and commented that the ride was “fun and easy.”
However, Mary Beth Reckinger Weaver reported that it took her boss two hours to drive to the West Glenwood exit from New Castle on one of the days.
Vickie Andrade noted full parking lots at the New Castle City Market and park and ride.
“A lot of people must have carpooled from New Castle or took the free bus,” she wrote.
If buses are full coming from western Garfield County, standby ones will be sent to transport riders.
That was the case Monday as the free RFTA buses heading into Glenwood Springs from western Garfield County appeared to be full with a lot of people who were either biking or walking to destinations within Glenwood Springs.
There have been several park and ride and carpooling lots added between Glenwood and Parachute. Visit grandavebridge.codot.gov and click on the “Hogback Parking Lots” link at the bottom left side to locate the lot nearest you.
Taking the long drive in:
During the morning rush, drivers should merge into the right lane on Interstate 70 eastbound as soon as they see the end of the line. The left lane is reserved for through traffic, emergency vehicles, buses and those headed to Exit 116 to access north Glenwood.
Post Independent reporter John Stroud reported Monday that “except for a long backup onto I-70 as people waited to enter the detour route at Exit 114, the detour was flowing smoothly.”
The I-70 backup did not improve Tuesday, but on Wednesday was less of a problem, officials said.
“Traffic was backed up on I-70 west of the Exit 114 access to the detour route well beyond the Canyon Creek interchange at times, with reported 2-hour commutes from New Castle through Glenwood Springs headed toward Aspen, even as late as 10:30 a.m.,” the Post Independent reported.
On Monday, Sports Editor Josh Carney reported getting onto I-70 at Parachute as early as 5 a.m. before sitting in an hour and a half of traffic to get from Exit 109 to Exit 114 into West Glenwood.
“From Exit 109, I sat in traffic on the interstate for roughly an hour and a half, crawling along slowly but surely,” he wrote.