I-70 night closures set next week; more work to come | AspenTimes.com

I-70 night closures set next week; more work to come

Randy Essex
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Crews work Wednesday on a pier for the new pedestrian bridge that is to open next spring to cross the Colorado River and Interstate 70. Work to place steel girders for the bridge will force nighttime closures of I-70 next week.
Randy Essex / Post Independent |

A new, intense phase in the Grand Avenue bridge project starts next week.

Monday through Wednesday, Interstate 70 will be closed overnight from the eastern edge of Glenwood Springs to Exit 116, the main Glenwood exit. The closure will be in effect from 8 p.m. each of the three nights until 6 a.m. the next morning. The last closure ends at 6 a.m. July 14.

Drivers coming from the east will be detoured through a break in the construction barrier on the north side of I-70 near Yampah Spa Vapor Caves along Sixth Street back to Exit 116. Drivers coming from the west who plan to continue east will exit at 116, travel east along Sixth Street and return to I-70 at Yampah Spa.

The Grand Avenue bridge also will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for those same three nights for utility work. Drivers should use Eighth Street to Midland Avenue to Exit 114 in West Glenwood and U.S. 6 to access I-70.

Drivers wanting to head upvalley on Highway 82 or drivers coming from the south side of the river to reach I-70 will need to use Exit 114.

The I-70 closures are needed while crews work on placing huge steel girders for the new pedestrian bridge over the Colorado River and I-70, project communications leaders said. The girders will be the first pieces to be placed for the deck of the new bridge, which is on schedule to open in March 2017.

The girders range from 69 feet to 105 feet long. The work actually starts today on the north side of the river, but initial work won’t affect traffic.

In addition to the night closures next week, the Colorado River will be closed to recreational use from 4 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday the week of July 18 for cranes to work on putting the girders in place.

Project communications leaders Tom Newland and Kathleen Wanatowicz said the team has worked with commercial rafting companies to minimize impact on their operations. For example, commercial guides will be able to take rafters on two “laps” of the river from Shoshone to Grizzly Creek in the mornings.

The team will have a daily conference call beginning at 3 p.m. Monday to provide updates and information on delays. The conference call number is 218-339-7800, and the access code is 2300335.

Newland noted that weather could affect the schedule, so the week of July 25 is reserved for possible spillover.

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