Aspen urges replacement of Maroon Creek bridge | AspenTimes.com

Aspen urges replacement of Maroon Creek bridge

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The third time’s a charm.

The Aspen City Council finally agreed Monday on a resolution endorsing replacement of the 115-year-old Maroon Creek bridge and asking the state to expedite funding for the project.

“I think, at this point, it’s a little ridiculous if the city of Aspen doesn’t move forward on this issue,” said Mayor Helen Klanderud, urging the council to act.

With two draft resolutions before them, including one Councilman Terry Paulson prepared because he didn’t like the one before the council last month, council members voted 4-1 to approve his version.

Councilman Tim Semrau dissented, apparently over fears that Paulson was interpreting one clause of the resolution differently than the rest of the council.

The troublesome provision indicates the new bridge should be designed in conjunction with the city’s study of changes to the existing alignment of Highway 82 through the S curves – between the roundabout and the intersection of Seventh and Main streets.

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The council has decided to form a task force to explore potential improvements to the S-curves.

“So Terry, you understand this to mean the bridge design is affected by the study?” Semrau asked.

“Yes,” Paulson replied.

“That’s how he understands it,” said Councilman Tony Hershey, hinting that he interprets it differently.

The city and the Colorado Department of Transportation have begun preliminary engineering work on a new bridge to carry Highway 82 across the Maroon Creek gorge, but some basic parameters for the $25 million span are already part of CDOT’s plans for the entrance to town.

The plan calls for a 73-foot-wide platform that would carry two 12-foot lanes of general traffic, two 11-foot bus lanes, one 14-foot pedestrian/bike path and a median.

The existing bridge, originally a railroad trestle, would be retained to carry light rail, should that mode of transit into Aspen ever come to pass.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]

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