Pedestrian bridge takes shape over 82 | AspenTimes.com

Pedestrian bridge takes shape over 82

The new pedestrian bridge over Highway 82 at Wingo Junction currently looks like something only Evil Knievel could love. But fear not, it won’t require death-defying stunts to cross it when it is completed.

The bridge is being assembled and erected in stages on the south side of the highway. So far, two of five trusses have been erected. The bridge juts out and abruptly ends about one-third of the way across the highway from the south, 17 feet off the ground.

Two more trusses will be erected from the north side this weekend. The final piece of the puzzle, the center truss, is scheduled to be added the weekend of May 10, according to Temple Glassier, deputy director of public works for Pitkin County.

When the trusses are up the contractor will pour concrete decking and hook the bridge into short trail segments to the north and south.

The bridge should be substantially completed by May 17 and open in the first week of June, during National Trails Week, Glassier said.

The bridge and associated work will cost $650,000. The county received funding help through a $122,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado – which distributes lottery funds to open space and trails projects.

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The bridge across Highway 82 is the final piece needed to complete a 20-mile trail section along the Rio Grande Railroad right of way. The next stretch to open will tie the new pedestrian bridge into the Basalt-Old Snowmass Trail on the north.

On the south side of the highway, a historic railroad trestle has been refurbished to take the trail over the Roaring Fork River. The trail then meanders through the Roaring Fork Club and past Basalt High School.

By this summer, trail users will be able to travel from Aspen to the Emma school house on the old railroad grade. A group called the Mid-Valley Trails Committee is teaming with RFTA to extend the trail another mile downvalley from Emma. That stretch is scheduled to be open by September.

Pitkin County Trails and Open Space has a couple of more projects on its to-do list for the summer. It is awaiting approval from the U.S. Forest Service to extend the East Aspen Trail out to Difficult Campground, Glassier said.

It also wants to complete the Aspen Mass Trail that would tie the area around the intersection of Brush Creek Road and Highway 82 in with Jaffee Park.

Another project in the pipeline is the Brush Creek Trail, which would parallel Brush Creek Road from the Brush Creek intercept lot to the Rodeo lot in the lower village. Glassier said that project won’t be started until work is coordinated with infrastructure construction by Holy Cross Electric.

[Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com]

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