Bridge closure, I-70 detour next two nights
Overhead utility work related to the Grand Avenue bridge project will result in a second nighttime bridge closure and short Interstate 70 detour overnight Friday.
According to bridge-project officials, construction crews had hoped to accomplish the work during the planned I-70 Glenwood Canyon closure earlier this week for continuing rockfall mitigation work that had to be postponed due to downdrafts that forced crews to halt helicopter work.
The Grand Avenue bridge will be closed to traffic for a second straight night from 8 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Saturday so that the utility work can proceed, bridge project spokesman Tom Newland said. The temporary pedestrian walkway will remain open during that time, he said.
In addition, I-70 traffic going in both directions will be detoured onto Sixth Street at exit 116 during the overnight hours, he said.
“We were hoping to do the overhead work during the day (Wednesday and Thursday) when the canyon was closed, but we didn’t get very far along before those plans changed,” Newland said.
The Colorado Department of Transportation closed I-70 through Glenwood Canyon on Wednesday for the rockfall mitigation work, but had to postpone the work Thursday. CDOT plans to reschedule that project, probably sometime in August.
Tonight’s I-70 detour will merge traffic into a one-lane configuration in each direction on Sixth Street at exit 116 and near the Yampah Vapor Caves.
The detour is necessary for safety reasons while the utilities are being placed onto the new pedestrian bridge that is under construction over I-70, Newland said.
Due to the bridge closure, motorists looking to exit onto Colorado 82 should do so at exit 114 in West Glenwood and take Midland Avenue to Eighth Street and back onto Grand Avenue via Colorado Avenue. U.S. 6 to West Glenwood also will remain open.
During the I-70 detour on Sixth Street, there will be no parking from Pine Street to the Yampah Vapor Caves. Next week, construction crews will continue utility work along Sixth Street between Laurel Street and the Grand Avenue bridge.
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The soil that Owl Creek Road was built on has been shifting, slipping and ever-so-slightly sloughing toward the Sinclair Divide, causing a dip in the road above that would have kept on dipping were it not for the subterranean work that has reduced the two-lane road to one lane for most of the last month, according to Pitkin County engineer GR Fielding.