Tips to navigate the Grand Avenue Bridge detour efficiently
By the time you read this column, the detour for the Grand Avenue Bridge project will be in place. We on the project team hope that you have a plan in place for travel to and through Glenwood during the next few months.
This column will be shifting gears now to focus more on detour tips and project progress and less on traffic impacts. So, to start off this new format, here are some helpful tips for negotiating or avoiding the detour:
DETOUR MERGE POINTS: Merge points have been set up on both sides of the detour. When exiting Interstate 70 eastbound at Exit 114, you will see two lanes available on the exit ramp. Both lanes continue through the roundabout to the clearly marked merge point on Midland Avenue at the railroad bridge (Devereux Road). Please fill both lanes, as this will help prevent backups on I-70.
When coming into town westbound on Colorado 82, the merge point will be located at 27th Street. Don’t merge early. Wait until you reach the designated merge point, then alternate with your fellow drivers in the other lane. The detour will run more efficiently if the merge points operate in this manner.
CROSSWALKS: Please use the designated crosswalks along the detour route. This is particularly important in the “square-about” – the block of Eighth and Ninth streets between Colorado and Grand Avenues. This city block has been set up like a roundabout, with one-way traffic moving in a counter-clockwise fashion. Jaywalking, a dangerous move even without the detour, will put you at risk and will impede traffic along the detour, so use the crosswalks exclusively and be mindful of your surroundings.
RFTA HOGBACK ROUTE: The ride on RFTA is free from Parachute to Glenwood. There’s no need for a coupon or pass – just hop on. The Hogback route also bypasses the detour route, so trip time is a known factor when riding RFTA (you can’t say that about the detour). We have added several park and ride and carpooling lots between Glenwood and Parachute. Go to our webpage, grandavebridge.codot.gov and click on the “Hogback Parking Lots” link at the bottom left-hand side to locate the lot nearest you.
The Ride Glenwood routes are also free during the detour. Routes and frequencies for Ride Glenwood can also be found on our webpage.
E-BIKES ON CITY AND RFTA TRAILS: It’s official, the RFTA Board of Directors authorized the use of e-bikes on the lower Rio Grande Trail. All Glenwood trails are open to these devices during the detour. Remember, the speed limit on our public trails is 20 mph. Please have a bell or other audio signal on your bike and use it to alert pedestrians and slower traffic when you are passing. Also, stay on the right side of the trail unless passing.
Want to check traffic on the detour route before heading out? The Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority has a camera on Lookout Mountain that continuously scans the detour route and other major intersections in Glenwood. Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/GABdetourCam
Caution: This link won’t work with Internet Explorer.
PARKING DOWNTOWN: Unfortunately, we had to close on-street parking along the detour route and in the square-about, primarily for safety and efficient operation of the detour. There are still plenty of places to park downtown, and on-street parking has been added along Seventh Street between Colorado and Eighth to help mitigate the parking that was lost. Go to our website for a map showing parking options around town during the detour.
PROJECT STATUS: Deconstruction of the old Grand Avenue Bridge starts immediately after the detour is in place. Crews will be working around the clock over the next few weeks to take down the bridge and haul the material to Rifle to be recycled.
We will also be implementing the night detour on I-70 and 24/7 closures of the Colorado River during the first 10 days of the detour. We have information on the night detours, river closures, detour FAQs and more on our website. Also, our Facebook page is a great real-time resource. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/GrandAveBridgeProject/.
Thank you for your patience and your participation in helping to reduce traffic along the detour during peak traffic periods. This will be a trying time for all of us but together we can get it through it. Remember, when the detour goes away and all the construction ends, the finished product will be a new community asset that will enhance both our community and our transportation connections for decades to come.
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