CDOT shutters west Glenwood I-70 rest area
In a cost-saving move, the Colorado Department of Transportation has closed a rest area built in 1969 on Interstate 70 in west Glenwood Springs.
The agency closed the facility Wednesday. It’s one of four the Colorado Transportation Commission voted in May to shut down, CDOT said in a news release.
CDOT will redevelop the west Glenwood Springs site for emergency truck parking to help alleviate congestion in the city, particularly when many trucks are forced to temporarily park in town when a major storm or emergency closes the highway. The new parking is being provided in accordance with the I-70 West Mountain Corridor Incident Management Plan developed by a coalition of city, county and state officials.
The rest area closure had been scheduled for March, but happened sooner due to sewer line problems.
The shutdown of the rest areas statewide is expected to save CDOT about $300,000 a year in maintenance funds, as well as additional money that otherwise would have been needed to upgrade wastewater systems at the sites, the agency said. It also will enable rest area employees to work instead on roadway maintenance.
CDOT Region 3 maintenance superintendent Toby Brown noted in the news release that there now are five additional rest areas within 20 miles of Glenwood Springs. These include four constructed as part of the Glenwood Canyon project completed in 1992.
In addition, Brown noted that most CDOT rest areas were constructed in 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,” he said.
CDOT also is closing rest areas on I-70 in Bennett, on U.S. 287 at Huge and on U.S. 50 at Hadley, just east of La Junta. In 2009 it also closed two rest areas on Interstate 25 in the Larkspur area.
These locations all have seen subsequent private development that has resulted in many services to motorists, and all can provide space for emergency parking or, in the case of Larkspur, a location for truckers to install chains on their tires, the agency said.