The Colorado Dept. of Transportation says that work will begin in early January on the Grand Avenue Bridge project in Glenwood Springs, Colo.
CDOT gave the OK to start work after the Colorado Transportation Commission, acting as the Bridge Enterprise Fund, recently approved the supplemental budget.
The project replaces the existing Grand Avenue Bridge, which brings S.H. 82 over the Colorado River into Glenwood Springs. Initial work will include construction of the “causeways,” or construction platforms, at the pier locations on the south bank of the Colorado River.
Crews will then install a temporary walkway on the existing S.H. 82 vehicular bridge, followed by removal of the pedestrian bridge and replacement with a new one that can structurally carry the public utilities (currently located on the vehicle bridge) over the river.
In 2016 and 2017, work will also be concentrated on constructing the vehicle bridge. Four lanes of traffic will be maintained on the bridge until fall 2017. At that point, the bridge will be closed for three months and traffic will be rerouted to Midland Avenue and 8th Street.
During the complete bridge closure, the existing bridge will be removed and remaining portions of the new bridge and associated approach improvements and roadways will be constructed. Work during the closure will be performed using accelerated construction techniques.
CDOT and the Transportation Commission gave the nod to proceed with work after construction manager/general contractor for the project—Granite Construction and RL Wadsworth Joint Venture, from Salt Lake City—submitted a bid of $68.4 million, which was accepted by CDOT.
The final budget for the project is $125.6 million and is funded through the Bridge Enterprise Fund, CDOT and contributions from utility companies and several local governments, including the city of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County and Eagle County.
The Transportation Commission has also allocated funding to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) for the fall 2017 detour phase of the project for enhanced transit services along the I-70 corridor and within the city of Glenwood Springs.
“We are extremely excited by this decision,” says Steve Olson, program engineer for CDOT in Glenwood Springs. “The people of Glenwood Springs and CDOT have worked together for four years planning this project. We started with a community vision and ended with a bridge design that works for the users and is consistent with the context of this community. We are ready to begin the construction phase that, when completed, will provide a safe, functional bridge and enhanced connections for the citizens of Glenwood Springs.”
The Colorado state legislature passed a bill in 2009 to fund a program to address the state’s poorly rated bridges. The Grand Avenue Bridge is one of approximately 150 bridges on the state system that has a “poor” rating and therefore has priority for the funding.
Work on an environmental assessment for the project began in summer 2011 after a CDOT study found the bridge to have functional, structural and safety deficiencies. Through the process, CDOT contacted more than 3,000 individuals through public outreach activities. The input gained was incorporated into the project design.
“The community’s over-riding desire was to make sure that the design of the bridge fit with the setting, which is downtown Glenwood and the north side of town,” says Tom Newland, public involvement consultant during the design process and the CDOT project public information manager for the bridge construction. “CDOT and Glenwood Springs wanted a bridge that was sensitive to the context of the community. To realize this, we provided continuous and meaningful involvement of the public and all stakeholders throughout the project development process,” he says.
The project received a Finding of No Significant Impact in June and since that time, CDOT has gathered funding sources and cut costs to get the project in line with budget estimates.