Opening delayed for Glenwood’s new Grand Avenue pedestrian bridge
Opening of the new Grand Avenue pedestrian bridge in downtown Glenwood Springs will be postponed a month until the first part of April, rather than the original March 1 target date, according to a Colorado Department of Transportation official.
The postponement is mainly due to a flaw discovered in some of the bridge railings that are being installed, said Tom Newland, CDOT’s public information manager for the project.
“The railings that go along the sides of the bridge are specifically designed, and we discovered that some weren’t manufactured correctly, so we had to send them back,” Newland said.
Rather than open the bridge to foot and bicycle traffic with some of the railing sections missing and blocked off only with 2-by-4 boards, contractors decided it best to wait. The extra time will also allow some of the other detail work to be completed over the next month, he said.
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“At some point we would have had to come back in and close the bridge so we can put sealant on the concrete deck,” Newland said. “By waiting we can go ahead and get that done without having another bridge closure.”
Once the pedestrian bridge is completed and open for use, it also becomes Glenwood Springs city property. The pedestrian bridge is part of CDOT’s larger, $125 million Grand Avenue bridge replacement project. The new pedestrian bridge became necessary as a means to carry utilities that had previously been attached to the highway bridge.
“We don’t want to turn over an unfinished product,” Newland said.
He said March 1 was merely a “milestone” goal to complete the pedestrian bridge portion of the overall project. Postponing its opening does not cause a setback for work on the main highway bridge that will eventually replace the existing bridge linking Colorado 82 to Interstate 70.
The temporary walkway along the highway bridge will remain open in the meantime until the new pedestrian bridge is completed. The walkway will also continue to provide handicapped access over I-70, the Colorado River and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks until June when the elevators on Seventh Street that will provide ADA-required access to the new pedestrian bridge are to be functional, Newland said.
In the meantime, contractors expect to have the pedestrian bridge ready to open by the first part of April, although a specific date has not been determined.
“If the weather is good, it can be earlier rather than later,” he said.
The city is also still working with Roaring Fork Events to have a ribbon-cutting and grand opening event sometime in April, after the pedestrian bridge is completed and in conjunction with Earth Day. The event is being planned to include several attractions and displays along the new walkway, as well as a fun run.
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