Road construction ramps up from Aspen to Glenwood and beyond |

Road construction ramps up from Aspen to Glenwood and beyond

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
With spring comes the repair and construction season for area roads, streets and highways. (Kelley Cox/Post Independent)

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” With warmer weather approaching, drivers can expect delays, as construction starts on tens of millions of dollars worth of road and highway improvements in the greater Roaring Fork Valley.

The construction of bus lanes along Highway 82 outside of Aspen will cause disruption for motorists, but Glenwood Springs will see its share of roadwork, as well.

Reconstruction of Donegan Road in Glenwood, from Cedar Crest Drive to the east, is expected to begin in June, when work on a new traffic light at 27th and South Grand Avenue is also expected to start. Work on “traffic calming features” such as speed tables and speed display signs along Midland Avenue could also begin in June or July. A roundabout at 27th Street and Midland Avenue is also expected to be built this year.

On Monday, $2 million worth of work began to repair a 400-foot damaged section of Highway 13 north of Rifle. It was damaged as a result of drainage problems and a failing embankment, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Drivers can expect up to 30-minute delays between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday, for about 35 days. Traffic will be forced to alternate on a single lane.

The big project in Rifle is the construction of a roundabout at Interstate 70, according to City Manager John Hier.

About $4.1 million worth of work began Monday on two roundabouts on the south side of I-70, between the highway and Airport Road. The project will last for six to eight months, Hier said.

“There will certainly be some lane closures and traffic-flow interruptions throughout the project as it goes forward,” he said.

But the work won’t be noticeable to motorists for about 30 days, until drainage and utility work is completed.

New traffic lights are also going in at the intersection of Highway 13 and 24th Street this summer. And a set of traffic crossing signals will go in on Railroad Avenue in Rifle’s downtown business district. A bridge construction project is under way on West Third Street and $750,000 worth of paving work will also be done at various locations, Hier said.

“It’s a major period of growth for the city,” he said.

Work resumed April 7 to rehabilitate the lining of the No Name Tunnels on I-70 east of Glenwood Springs. The $2.7 million project began last September. Motorists can expect single lane closures and delays there through October, and a 14-foot width restriction is in place for the duration of the project. Porcelain-painted metal tiles are being removed, cracks and guardrails are being repaired, and about 60,000 square feet of ceramic tiles will be replaced.

About $4.64 million worth of work is ongoing to widen the Highway 133 bridge leading from Highway 82 into Carbondale. Work began in November and is expected to be finished this fall. The bridge will be widened from two to four lanes and a second turn lane will be added on Highway 82 heading downvalley, in addition to drainage improvements and replacement of a traffic signal.

CDOT is also putting in a new traffic signal, at a cost of $227,108, on Highway 82 near Buffalo Valley outside of Glenwood Springs. It should be in place by May 6.

Carbondale Public Works Director Larry Ballenger said work is ongoing to add “bulb-outs” at intersections along Main Street. Currently, the intersection of 7th and Main Street in downtown Carbondale is closed and traffic is being detoured.

The bulb-outs involve extending a portion of the curb about 8 or 9 feet to narrow the driving lanes. This slows drivers and gives pedestrians a shorter distance to cross the street. The $1.5 million project will also include bulb-outs, like the ones at Fourth Street and Main Street, at Sixth Street and Eighth Street, Ballenger said. Some landscaping and tree planting is also part of the project.

An $8 million project began this week on Highway 82 on the outskirts of Aspen. The work includes constructing a bus lane in each direction between Owl Creek Road and the roundabout. It’s expected to be finished by December.

Motorists should expect up to 15-minute delays and may encounter some complete stops during off-peak traffic hours. But only brief stops ” of about two minutes ” will occur between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Longer stops will occur after 6 p.m., according to CDOT.

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