Bridge replacement proposal needs reworking | AspenTimes.com

Bridge replacement proposal needs reworking

The Colorado Department of Transportation, with the cooperation of the county and city, is about to release a final design contract for Highway 82 from Buttermilk to the roundabout.

The most significant portion of this design will be a new Maroon Creek bridge, [located] north of the existing 116-year-old Midland Railroad bridge which now carries the highway.

CDOT’s preliminary design alternatives for the Maroon Creek bridge are a 70-plus-foot driving surface with an extension for a bike tail, held up by two standard piers down in the Maroon Creek Valley.

With community input, this bridge could be improved. Perhaps a steel arch, like the bridge between the Aspen Recreation Center and Tiehack, would be preferred. This design would relieve most impacts to the valley floor [caused] by footings for piers and their construction. Perhaps, a double-deck bridge would be good ” two lanes on each deck. This design would be half as wide.

The existing bridge will be left in place because it is historic and may be used for light rail in the future. CDOT needs to be encouraged to restore this bridge to its original historic look as a part of this project or else we will be left with a historic bridge with two asphalt lanes.

The existing bike trail bridge will be removed. Instead of just trashing it, maybe it should be moved next to the Castle Creek bridge or maybe a new bike trail link can be created between Red Butte Cemetery and Meadows Road.

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Ron Thompson

Aspen

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