Brush Creek Road to see spring resurfacing |

Brush Creek Road to see spring resurfacing

Janet UrquhartThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Pitkin County will seek bids this winter for its first big road project of the year – resurfacing busy Brush Creek Road.The goal is to get the work done this spring, before the Chili Pepper & Brew Fest takes place in Snowmass Village in early June. An application of chip-and-seal coating on the road from Highway 82 to near the roundabout at the entrance to Snowmass is budgeted.Although Owl Creek Road provides an alternate route to Snowmass Village, people coming to events in Snowmass from outside of the area won’t necessarily be familiar with that option, county engineer G.R. Fielding told county commissioners Tuesday. Weather permitting, the county hopes to a secure a contractor to complete the project during the upcoming offseason.Brush Creek Road is the busiest road in the county’s system (Highway 82 is a state highway). Traffic counts on the road approach 10,000 vehicles per day, Fielding said.Brush Creek was last paved in 2006. The chip-and-seal application will keep the surface in good shape longer, he said.”We’re doing it to try to protect that investment,” Fielding said.Jack Gredig Road, the half-mile roadway from Highway 82 to the county landfill, is slated for an asphalt overlay, and the county is mulling an off-hours project to avoid impacting traffic in and out of the landfill, Fielding said.The work may be done in the evening, during a week of the summer, or on a couple of weekends, on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, when the landfill is closed.Smith Hill Way, also a heavily traveled route, between Highway 82 and Upper River Road, will also get an asphalt overlay. Closing a lane of traffic for the work will be challenging, Fielding predicted.Resurfacing all 1.7 miles of Redstone Boulevard with chip-and-seal in late summer or early fall is also scheduled, but Commissioner Rob Ittner voiced concerns about the project’s impact on Redstone’s economy.”That really scares me – the time frame – for the businesses up there,” he said.The project is timed to follow Redstone Water and Sanitation District work that will affect the road, Fielding said, but the scheduling of the resurfacing work could be adjusted.Repairs to a narrow stretch of Woody Creek Road, where material beneath it has been eaten away, is also planned.”We anticipate having a lot of challenges with this one,” Fielding said. “We may have to shut the road down for some period of time. What that is, we don’t know yet.”Local traffic and emergency access need to be maintained, Fielding said, but equipment on the narrow road won’t leave room to keep a lane open. Two areas in a section about 200 yards long need work, he said.Also planned this year is replacement of a culvert and retaining wall on the road into Coal Creek Basin, near Redstone. The county put off the project last fall after bids came in higher than expected.The roughly $2 million in capital projects on roads this year come in addition to the county’s usual maintenance work – filling potholes and such.A new five-year capital plan calls for spending $10.8 million on roads and bridges. The money will come from a new capital fund created with accumulated balances and half of the county’s annual sales tax revenue. Such projects took a hit during the recession, when spending on capital projects for roads dropped from about $1.9 million to $400,000 annually. This year is the first with a newly ramped-up capital budget for

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