Brush Creek lot to open for overnight worker parking |

Brush Creek lot to open for overnight worker parking

Grand Avenue bridge project crews had stripped nearly all the steel girders off the old bridge Wednesday, and the remaining piers are just about all that stand in the path of the new bridge.
Ryan Summerlin / Post Independent |

brush creek overnight parking rules

Should you choose to leave your vehicle at the Brush Creek Intercept Lot, RFTA advises the following:

• Park at your own risk. The security of your vehicle is solely your responsibility. The intercept lot is not fenced, secured or monitored.

• Park in the designated zone only.

• This program will be suspended during the Labor Day Music Festival weekend. Do not leave vehicles in this lot Sept. 1-3.

• It is acceptable to leave your vehicle for multiple days/nights. The expectation is that the vehicle will be used during the course of the day.

• No camping or sleeping in the lot

Construction and related service workers who regularly drive their work vehicles upvalley will have a new option to avoid the Grand Avenue bridge detour traffic backups in Glenwood Springs.

Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Aspen and Pitkin County officials on Wednesday agreed to set aside a portion of the Brush Creek intercept lot at the Snowmass Village turnoff on Colorado 82 for overnight work vehicle parking.

The parking area will be on the east side of the intercept lot, behind the regular daytime commuter parking area.

It will allow construction workers to ride RFTA buses, including the free Hogback route between Parachute and Glenwood Springs, to get to work from points downvalley, or to carpool to their vehicles parked at the lot.

“The overall intent of this intercept parking program is to reduce the number of vehicles passing through Glenwood during the bridge construction,” said Kent Blackmer, co-director of operations at RFTA. “This option will help construction and service workers cope with the detour.”

Blackmer said he received an inquiry last week from a construction worker asking about the possibility of using the Brush Creek lot as a park-and-ride option.

“It’s kind of a twist on what that lot was designed to do,” he said. “The idea is that people can drive their car to the lot before riding the bus on into Aspen or up to Snowmass.

“Right now, though, we need to get vehicles out of Glenwood, so we think it’s a good use of that facility,” Blackmer said.

Other makeshift park-and-ride lots in Glenwood Springs are being used in a similar fashion. Grand Avenue bridge project officials have an informal agreement with Wal-Mart, the Roaring Fork Marketplace and Safeway to utilize parts of their parking lots for commuter parking.

The main disclaimer that comes with use of the lots, including Brush Creek, is that there is no security in place. For that reason, storage of expensive equipment is at the user’s own risk, Blackmer emphasized.

“In any case, we are willing to reverse our usual protocols to make this one more option for people to consider the bus,” he said.

Meanwhile, RFTA is still working to meet demand for the Hogback route that originates in Parachute in the mornings and picks up passengers in Rifle, Silt and New Castle before coming into Glenwood Springs.

RFTA has deployed several of its 57 passenger buses to serve the Hogback route, Blackmer said. Even with that, early morning buses are filling up by the time they leave Rifle, he said.

When that happens, that bus becomes a direct, non-stop to the north pedestrian bridge drop-off in Glenwood, and more buses move in behind to hit the Silt and New Castle stops, he said.

“We put six additional buses into that rotation last week to keep up with the demand,” he said.

RFTA is also having to adjust on the fly to keep up with the flow of passengers transferring onto the Amtrak-to-27th-Street shuttle, making connections to the fare-based upvalley buses, he said.

“At times, we have 150 people at a time walking across the bridge to catch the shuttle, and fortunately we have been able to get those buses into position,” he said.

Meanwhile, bridge project spokesman Tom Newland said Wednesday that the early backups coming onto the detour route at Interstate 70 Exit 114 have continued each morning this week.

Afternoon traffic is also backing up along Colorado 82 south of Glenwood earlier in the afternoon, as people continue to adjust their travel times, he said.

“We have a long list of suggestions that has been gleaned from Facebook [Roaring Fork Road and Weather, in particular], and other forums,” Newland said. “As we finish up our second week of this, we will be sitting down and going through those to try to address some of the concerns.”

Demolition of the old bridge continues on schedule, he said.

Another section of girders over I-70 and the Hot Springs parking lot was removed overnight Tuesday, and work continues to remove the concrete piers.

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