Airport underpass gets engineering award | AspenTimes.com

Airport underpass gets engineering award

Airport underpass gets engineering award

The pedestrian underpass between the Airport and Aspen Business Center has been open for nearly a year and has not only eliminated safety concerns for thousands of pedestrians, but has been recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado. During its annual Excellence Awards event, the council gave the underpass project a merit award. It competed with projects such as the Denver Union Station Transit Center and Colorado Capitol Dome Exterior Restoration as well as the Jefferson County Light Rail Station Pedestrian Bridge.

"This is a pretty big deal in the world of engineering and projects like ours. We represented a little project among the front range big boys," said Pitkin County Public Works Director Brian Pettet. "Our project stood out because of its unique combination of innovative engineering with attention to aesthetic detail."

The underpass project was funded through a collaborative effort between Pitkin County, the Elected Officials Transportation Committee, Roaring Fork Transit Authority and the Colorado Department of Transportation.

"From the beginning, we recognized that this airport link to mass transit would be the community's front door for years to come," Pettet said. "We didn't just want to bury a concrete box in the ground. We wanted this amenity to welcome visitors and serve residents and workers. You know when you pass through this tunnel you are entering a special place."

The merit award was given to the Parsons Transportation Group, the firm hired by Pitkin County to engineer the project.

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During a normal work day, about 250 people use the pedestrian tunnel and safely pass under an average of 22,000 vehicles traveling Highway 82.

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