Brush Creek Trail bridge focus of open house |

Brush Creek Trail bridge focus of open house

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Courtesy Pitkin County Open Space and TrailsThis image depicts use of two sections of the old Maroon Creek pedestrian bridge on the Brush Creek Trail outside of Snowmass Village.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Design options for a new bridge on the Brush Creek Trail will be the focus of an open house at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Snowmass Village Town Hall.

Renderings that depict placement of the bridge will be available to scrutinize, and an engineer will be on hand to answer questions. Pitkin County commissioners are weighing options for the span – one is considerably more expensive than the other – and agreed public input should be a consideration.

The less expensive option, at close to $300,000, involves using two sections of the former Maroon Creek pedestrian bridge, which accommodated pedestrian and bike traffic next to Highway 82 on the outskirts of Aspen before a new highway bridge was built. The second option, a prefabricated bridge built specifically for the trail project, would cost roughly $610,000, according to estimates.

“Are the aesthetics really that different to justify spending potentially $250,000 to $300,000 more?” said Gary Tennenbaum, land steward for the county Open Space and Trails program.

“If the public thinks it’s nuts, spending that much money, they can let the elected officials know,” he said.

The county has to install a new bridge at the lower crossing of Brush Creek. Until now, the trail has made use of a box culvert serving private property, but it was a temporary arrangement, and the landowner has asked that it cease, according to open space officials.

At the upper crossing of Brush Creek, near the town of Snowmass Village, a prefabricated span was installed after town officials balked at using a piece of the old Maroon Creek bridge. The town chipped in half the cost of the pricier bridge.

This time, the bridge is located considerably farther from town and will be set below Brush Creek Road, where it’s less visible, Tennenbaum said.

The new bridge will span wetlands and the creek – a distance that would require two 82-foot sections of the old Maroon Creek bridge or a prefabricated bridge of roughly the same length.

The Brush Creek Trail, which extends between Highway 82 and Snowmass Village, is closed to accommodate wildlife until April 1. No work can occur until then. Trail users will likely be detoured onto Brush Creek Road until the project is finished, Tennenbaum said.

“It’s not going to be ideal,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get it done as quickly as possible after April 1.”

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