Bathroom, bus stop, and bandshell to come to Basalt River Park
The revitalization of Historic Downtown Basalt will result in multiple construction projects happening concurrently in early spring through part of summer, though only minimal traffic impacts are expected.
Basalt Town Council approved two contracts to move forward with Phase III of development for the Basalt River Park at their meeting Tuesday evening.
These projects include the construction of a restroom with a bus stop shelter on Two Rivers Road and a bandshell for performing arts in the park. Both projects underwent value-engineering to cut costs after construction prices skyrocketed during and after the pandemic.
The restroom/bus stop will house a 300-square-foot restroom, with two rooms and a mechanical room, and a roofed open-air bus stop. It will replace the temporary bus stop on the north side of Two Rivers Road next to the park.
Town Council signed off on a contract of $796,664 with Grand Junction-based FCI Constructors, Inc. for the restroom/bus stop project. Construction is expected to start near the end of March with a three to four month construction timeframe.
Council member Ryan Slack expressed hesitancy at the high price tag for such a small building, and Planning Director Michelle Thibeault explained some reasoning for the cost.
“One of the challenges with this building being a public facility is that the finishes have to be a higher grade for withstanding vandalism,” she said. Town engineer Catherine Christoff also said that the roof design changed significantly to cut costs.
“It’s a little weird to think of a restroom as an iconic building,” Mayor Bill Kane remarked. “But it kind of is. It’s going to be the visual introduction to the whole park.”
With $130,000 from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and $150,000 from the developer, according to town manager Ryan Mahoney, the town will not be on the hook for the full construction bill — which is down approximately $220,135 from the 2022 estimate.
For the bandshell, construction cannot begin until late spring when the weather warms. Crews will then excavate the site and pour a concrete foundation, followed by installation of a custom steel frame and electrics. It is scheduled to be completed in July.
A climbing wall will be built onto the bandshell for public use when it is not being utilized as a performing arts stage. Installation of the climbing features, plus safety, paint, and a fabric cover will come last, with projected completion at mid-summer.
The town contracted Burlingame Construction of Aspen for $821,220.13 to build the bandshell.
Town staff anticipate that construction for neither project will generate many traffic impacts, as all work will be completed on-site away from Two Rivers Road.
The construction of the bus stop/restroom is expected to conclude close to the same time as the Midland Spur construction, which is an early phase in the larger Midland Avenue Streetscape Project. The spur is the road behind Basalt Town Hall.
The streetscape project will take at least two years to complete, as Basalt’s Midland Avenue will be under construction above and below ground to improve infrastructure, ADA compliance, and parking design, among other goals. In 2021, 71% of Basalt voters approved the upcoming streetscape project.
Currently, Basalt’s Midland Avenue is closed from the bridge between the library and Post Office to the Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue intersection to install new sewer lines. Normal traffic patterns are expected to resume by March 10 with overall project completion by the end of the month.
Construction on the spur will not begin until the Sanitation District project is completed.
The bus stop/restroom and bandshell projects were originally slated for completion in 2022, but increased costs due to supply-chain delays and labor shortages forced the town to send the plans back to value engineering, according to town staff.
The Basalt River Park development project is the product of Basalt Open Space and Trails prioritizing revitalization of the park for many years. Funds for both projects come from the POST budget, plus Streets money for the restroom/bus stop.