$7.5 million park-and-ride project gets matching federal, local funds
The number of paved parking spots at the Brush Creek park-and-ride lot will double to approximately 400 this summer with the projected completion of a $7.5 million project being supported by federal and local money.
Preliminary site work starts in April and comes after a yearlong delay to break ground, Pitkin County officials said last week. The first bidding round in December 2021 drew two applicants with bids more than twice the project cost’s initial estimate. A second bidding process, conducted by the Federal Highway Administration last fall, attracted one applicant with an offer that also exceeded the project budget.
“The federal lands access program folks do intend to mobilize the middle of April and to break ground shortly thereafter,” Brian Pettet, the county’s director of public works, told commissioners at a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 25. “And they will be surveying, clearing and grubbing and will start the process of completing the project, so we do hope to get it done this summer.”
To lower the cost, the Elected Officials Transportation Committee, or EOTC, at a late October meeting opted to eliminate the bathroom facility and traffic-flow improvements from the project plan. A general contractor based in Rye agreed to supervise the construction, Pettet told the board.
The city of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority lease the 27.2-acre site from the Colorado Department of Transportation. The property is on the north side of the intersection of Highway 82 and Brush Creek Road. It provides free parking to visitors and commuters, and free RFTA bus rides to Snowmass Village and Aspen.
The project is receiving $3,766,672 from the Federal Lands Access Program, or FLAP, and a matching amount approved in the EOTC’s 2023 budget. The ETOC comprises elected officials who represent the Aspen, Pitkin County and Snowmass Village governments.
The current 200 spots will be repaved with asphalt, and another 200 gravel spots will be layered with asphalt, Pettet said. Other enhancements include lighting and prepping for future charging stations for electric vehicles. Approximately 1,400 more vehicles can park in the unpaved, dirt areas of the lot.
The The Pitkin County commissioners will hold a confirmatory hearing on the matter Feb. 8., which entails them entertaining an emergency resolution that would memorialize the county’s agreement with the Central Federal Lands High Division under FLAP.
“The emergency nature of this is to get the grant signed by the Board of County Commissioners so we can have the intra-governmental agreement authorized,” Pettet said.
In 2016, the EOTC authorized acceptance of FLAP funds “to improve the Brush Creek Park and Ride by expanding parking capacity and implementing operational efficiencies, to encourage more motorists traveling to Aspen and Snowmass Village to park their vehicles and utilize transit or car pools to complete their upvalley journeys,” according last week’s emergency resolution that the county commissioners adapted on first reading.