Reconstruction projects continue for Grand Lake

A pair of signs redirects traffic at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Garfield Street in Grand Lake Monday morning as work crews were busy with road work along Grand. Grand Lake has seen significant construction this summer, which town officials hope to wrap up before winter sets in on the high country.
Lance Maggart / Sky-Hi News |

It has been a busy summer for the town of Grand Lake, in ways that have little to do with the large number of visitors who descend upon the picturesque mountain enclave between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Town officials are referring to 2017 as the “Summer of Reconstruction” and if you drive around Grand Lake for just a few minutes you will understand why. From the East Inlet to Grand Avenue and multiple other points throughout the community Grand Lake’s summer has been marked by both public and private construction projects. The work is still ongoing as summer slides into fall with a two block section of Grand Avenue still closed to vehicle traffic as the annual Constitution Week celebration got underway Monday morning.

New segments of the Grand Lake boardwalk were installed over the summer, part of a large three phase project for which Grand Lake received bond funding – totaling $4.3 million – back in early May. Local contractors Big Valley Construction and subcontractor ATH Specialties handled the work, which got underway shortly after the town received bond funding.

According to Grand Lake Town Manager Jim White, contractors completed boardwalk work from Ellsworth Street to Pitkin Street on Grand Avenue’s south side and from Pitkin to Boot Hill on the north side. As August drew to a close the boardwalk construction crews set their sights on the block running between Garfield and Hancock Street, at the eastern edge of downtown Grand Lake.

Additionally as part of the project contractors replaced segments of the town’s storm sewer lines on Park Avenue and on Garfield Street. According to White contractors encountered difficulties on the Garfield section of the road, including “excessive rock” and some unexpected utilities. White acknowledged that the closing of the Grand Avenue and Garfield intersection was “disruptive” for the community, “no doubt about it,” he added. The intersection also sees significant foot traffic during the summer season. This summer Grand Lake had sidewalk bulb outs constructed at all four corners of the intersection in an effort to calm traffic.

The Grand Lake Town Hall also saw a bit of maintenance and upkeep work this summer with a roof replacement project on the Town Hall and Community House buildings.

On the private side of things four homes are going up along Park Avenue while the Park Avenue Lofts work moves towards completion. The town has also received proposals for a new miniature golf course, a brew pub and a tap house that could potentially be constructed in the future.

“We all know that construction is an arduous task and, along the way, it’s a mess,” White stated. “We know this has been difficult for many. I have been asked why we did this over the summer. With all the work we have had to complete, we needed all the good days we could find throughout the summer.”

White continued by explaining the town still has significant work to complete before the winter freeze hits the high country and grinds most construction to a halt. He specifically highlighted utility work on Grand Avenue as well as milling, asphalt and paving.

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