Glenwood explores plans for the future of its downtown |

Glenwood explores plans for the future of its downtown

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
A rendering of the envisioned pedestrian park area in the lower 700 block of Cooper Avenue, which could serve as a convertible space for small festivals and other public gatherings. Several drawings will be on display at the DDA open house Monday night.
Courtesy Downtown Development Authority |

Glenwood Springs’ Downtown Development Authority will host another open house tonight to present the latest drawings and gather more feedback for the next round of planned public improvements.

The open house will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the community room at the Glenwood Springs Public Library at 815 Cooper Ave.

The Downtown Development Authority has been working with various design consultants since February to come up with schematic designs for several projects, including new pedestrian and parkway areas in the lower part of Cooper Avenue and on the north side of Seventh Street near the train station.

The work also has focused on the proposed pedestrian plaza beneath the planned new Grand Avenue bridge, the “wing” areas on either side of the bridge in the 700 block of Grand and the intersection of Sixth and Laurel where the new bridge will land north of the Colorado River.

That particular area is being viewed as “the front door to downtown Glenwood Springs” and is proposed to be treated as a welcoming entry into Glenwood, said Leslie Bethel, executive director for the authority.

Natural grasses, pine and aspen trees are envisioned for the landscaped areas around the new interchange between Interstate 70 and Highway 82 and the planned roundabout at Sixth and Laurel, she said.

The half-block section of Cooper Avenue between Seventh Street and the alleyway that connects the 700 blocks of Grand, Cooper and Blake avenues presents a lot of possibilities, Bethel said in a statement.

“Regarded as an underutilized downtown street with great potential for hosting public events, Cooper Avenue streetscape upgrades would include new sidewalks, a ‘gateway’ monument, shade trees and landscaped planters,” she said.

The lower portion of that block is envisioned as a “convertible street” that could be closed to vehicle traffic temporarily and host public gatherings such as music events, markets and small street festivals.

The design work also addresses the replacement of the existing public restrooms under the existing Grand Avenue bridge on the north side of Seventh Street. As proposed, the new restrooms would be in the same location, which would be centrally located near the other amenities in the area, Bethel said.

That area also could include drinking fountains, bike racks, an emergency call station and “wayfinding” signs or graphics of some sort, she said.

The latest renderings also will begin to paint a picture for a new Seventh Street plaza overlooking the Colorado River toward the Hotel Colorado and Hot Springs Pool as well as the pedestrian areas in the 700 block of Grand.

Some of the design features that are envisioned for the area under the bridge are sculptures, a children’s play space, a performance stage, sitting steps, bistro tables and chairs, stone boulders, landscaped planters and ample lighting, according to the release.

The Downtown Development Authority board is scheduled to meet Tuesday morning and will decide whether to obtain cost estimates for some of the work that is included in the plans before presenting it to City Council, Bethel said.