Pipeline work to affect South Midland project in Glenwood Springs | AspenTimes.com

Pipeline work to affect South Midland project in Glenwood Springs

Charlie Wertheim Glenwood Springs Post Independent
A truck drives past a Jersey barrier on South Midland in 2018. After the pandemic caused Black Hills Energy to delay a pipeline project on South Midland, it now appears that the city's construction project planned for the same stretch of road will happen at the same time.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent file

The South Midland Avenue construction project has gotten a little more complicated than expected.

Pipeline installation has the potential to extend the project for three months, though city officials said pipeline work will have to be done concurrently with the road construction.

At Thursday’s Glenwood Springs City Council meeting, Jason Cox with Black Hills Energy explained that the company is putting in 4,000 feet of 8-inch pipeline from the Cardiff Glen neighborhood to just past the Cardiff Bridge Road. 

Cox called Black Hills’ work a “slow go,” estimating crews would install just 80 feet of pipe a day.

That job should have been completed by now, but it was a coronavirus construction casualty.

“Our plan was to do our portion of this this summer, but COVID really knocked the snot out of [our] progress. … Things just took a long time to fall into place,” Cox said.

Cox said early in the discussion that Black Hills would prefer to complete its work before the road construction begins.

“Now we’re at the end of the year when I’d rather not be doing this. I know it extends the project by three months, but that extension I think is necessary to keep our crew from being in the way of your crew,” he said.

Mayor Jonathan Godes said he did not want to see an extension of any length. 

“It’s going to be a massive impact for a large portion of our population. I have no appetite to extend it one extra day on the front end or the back end,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said.

City engineer Terri Partch said that the city cannot delay the start of its project.

“Our federal BUILD grant requires that we start in mid-December,” she said.

She also said the pipeline work has to be done, pointing out that it doesn’t make sense to build a new road with aging utilities underneath.

“I don’t see an option to delay our project or to not go forward with the gas project,” she said.

That means that the two projects will have to be done at the same time. Partch said normally she would prefer not to have two contractors working at the same time.

Cox was willing to do the work concurrently, though he was cautious about it.

“It’s going to be tricky with both of us in there. It’s not that it can’t be done, it’s just going to be interesting,” he said.

Bids for the South Midland project are due Oct. 30. Partch said she is tentatively planning a community meeting to introduce both projects on Nov. 12.

Godes closed the discussion with some direction for city staff.

“My suggestion is we have our city attorney and city engineer work with Black Hills to minimize to the highest degree possible the length and duration of the impacts to traffic patterns and residents of the area in conjunction with the overall South Midland rebuild,” he said.