Emergency Preparedness and Planning

Projects and Initiatives

Access Line Breaks between US 6 and I-70

City staff is working through design and permitting with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to build two access line (A-line) breaks on Interstate 70 (I-70) to allow a crossing from State Highway 6 (SH 6) to I-70 eastbound at Storm King and West 1st Street. The design and permitting are nearly complete for the Storm King access and is anticipated to be constructed in 2023 by city crews. Design and permitting work continues for the crossing at West 1st Street and is slated for construction in 2024.

Emergency Operations / Traffic Emergency Management (TEM) Plan Development

The City is working with EST Inc. to develop an internal Emergency Operations / Traffic Emergency Management Plan. The primary purpose is to guide the city in the management of traffic, evacuation of the city or portions of the city and coordination and communication with local agencies, the hospital and schools in the event of wildland fire or police events. This plan will expand on other emergency and safety plans including the Traffic Incident Management Plan and the Garfield County Emergency Operations Plan.

In the event of an emergency, traffic control resources would be dispatched to control major intersections to prioritize movement from evacuating areas.

Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Plan

The Traffic Incident Management Plan primarily provides procedures and direction to agencies in Garfield County regarding the closure or partial closure of the highway system in the event of a large accident. The plan also incorporates complete highway closures in Glenwood Canyon, South Canyon and State Highway 82 (SH 82). SH 82 was added to the plan to recognize the effects of a closure at westbound 114 in the City of Glenwood Springs. The plan allows the incident commander to direct closure of SH 82 northbound in the event of a large-scale emergency to limit external traffic from entering Glenwood and enhance capacity within Glenwood for evacuation. This plan was adopted by City council in early 2023.

South Bridge

The South Bridge project would provide a critical second access between State Highway 82 and the western side of the Roaring Fork River in the south Glenwood Springs area. This new route would improve emergency evacuation, and emergency service access. As of this comprehensive plan update, the South Bridge project is at a 90% design level. Cost-benefit analysis modeling using fire rates of spread from fires that occurred in the state during 2020 has shown that having the bridge in place substantially reduces loss of life in the southern corridor of the city.