ASPEN - The Colorado Department of Transportation has awarded a $20,000 contract to Yenter Companies of Arvada to install steel netting between the old and new Maroon Creek Bridge structures near Aspen.
The work will get under way in late March or early April.
Yenter crews will install about 660 linear feet of steel safety netting between the old and new bridges, which sit side by side, spanning the Maroon Creek gorge. The netting, like that used for rockfall mitigation, will have 6-by-6-inch spacing and will be secured to the bridge rail on each of the structures. At the widest point, the netting between the bridges will be 23 inches.
The horizontal netting between the two structures was selected over a vertical feature, such as a fence, for aesthetic reasons, concerns about snow loading and the desire to safeguard the gap between the two bridges, according to CDOT.
The new Maroon Creek Bridge carries four lanes of Highway 82 over the gorge. The old highway bridge remains in place right next to the new span, with a narrow gap separating the two structures. Last November, Snowmass Village resident George Aldrich Jr. apparently fell between the two bridges, possibly while trying to jump from the bridge carrying highway traffic to the old bridge after he found himself walking in traffic after dark. He was not walking on the separate pedestrian crossing that is part of the new bridge, but was apparently on the opposite side of the highway. His body was found below the two bridges - a drop of about 100 feet - on Dec. 13.
Construction of the new bridge was completed in 2008. It meets all federal and state requirements and safety standards for pedestrian and vehicular travel, including the lighted and signed pedestrian path, the shoulder width, barrier and bridge rail, CDOT noted.