GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Today, the Colorado Department of Transportation closed the rest area on I-70 in west Glenwood Springs—a closure was planned for March, but instead had to happen now due to sewer line issues. The Colorado Transportation Commission passed a resolution at its May 2012 meeting to close four highway rest areas that the Colorado Department of Transportation currently operates and maintains; the west Glenwood facility is on that list. The closures will enable CDOT to save some $300,000 a year in maintenance costs, save additional funding that would go to upgrade wastewater systems at these sights and enable rest area employees to shift duties to roadway maintenance.
“This was not an easy decision for CDOT and our State Transportation Commission, but with five additional rest areas within 20 miles of Glenwood, we can accommodate our traveling public fairly easily,” said CDOT Region 3 Maintenance Superintendent Toby Brown. “Most of our rest areas were constructed near areas that had limited services. Glenwood has grown so much since the rest area was built in 1969; now, the private sector can provide traveler services in addition to our remaining rest areas along the I-70 corridor.”
CDOT will develop the rest area for emergency truck parking to help alleviate congestion in Glenwood Springs, particularly during major storm or emergency events. This parking area follows the plans laid out in the I-70 West Mountain Corridor Incident Management Plan, which was developed by a large coalition of city, county and state representatives (including CDOT) involved in roadway management and emergency services.
The four additional rest areas in Glenwood Canyon start with No Name, just four miles away; and westbound travelers reach the Rifle rest area in 15 miles. A growing Glenwood Springs also offers new visitor services.
“We recently partnered with Colorado Mountain College to open new visitor information at 8th Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Glenwood Springs,” Marianne Virgili, CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said. “This central location and state-of-the art facility is designed to meet the needs of regional visitors, as well as introduce them the college. We appreciate CDOT’s thoughtful allocation of limited resources.”
CDOT is also closing the I-70 rest area in Bennett, on US 287 at Hugo and on US 50 at Hadley, just east of La Junta. In 2009, the department permanently closed the two rest areas located along northbound and southbound I- 25 in the Larkspur area. All these rest areas are—or were—in areas that have grown since their construction—areas that now provide many services to motorists. What’s more, all can now provide space for emergency parking or, in the case of Larkspur, much-needed truck chain-up stations.
Updated information regarding traffic impacts on this or other CDOT projects is available at www.dot.state.co.us/TravelInfo/currentcond/ or by calling 511. To receive project updates via wireless device or e-mail, visitwww.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Northwest Colorado.