City leans toward later Saturday construction starts |

City leans toward later Saturday construction starts

M. John FayheeSpecial to The Aspen Times

With perhaps the largest summer construction season in Aspen history looming, the battle between quieter weekends and longer construction schedules is likely to be resolved with a compromise. The Aspen City Council is inclined to let construction work continue on Saturdays, but 8 a.m. probably will be the earliest that jackhammering can begin.As part of the “noise/hours” component of the city’s exhaustive construction management plan, which the council discussed at Monday night’s work session, contractors would be able to continue working on Saturdays, but not Sundays. And, whereas nails can be hammered from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. weekdays, after the adoption of the plan – likely by June 1 – locals will have an extra hour of peaceful repose on Saturdays.Councilwoman Rachel Richards argued that by prohibiting all construction work on Saturdays, projects would take longer, creating the potential for missing deadlines.The reprieve will likely not extend into the realm of holidays and special events. Citing traffic concerns, as well as aesthetics, the council directed staff to come up with a calendar of when work would have to cease. In addition to traffic-generating biggies, like the Fourth of July and Labor Day, the council stressed including certain big-draw events, like the Food & Wine Magazine Classic, on the no-constuction list.The council directed the list be completed as soon as possible. With the summer construction season approaching fast, contractors need to know well in advance which days they have to stop hammering and sawing.Richards recommended that no-construction days be advertised by at least May 15 for the summer and Aug. 15 for the fall.Other components of the construction management plan sailed through the work session with nods from the council.Community Development Director Chris Bendon presented updated versions of the plan’s mud/dust/erosion/drainage, singage/information, timing/coordination, parking/transportation, emissions and staging area components. The council essentially gave him a thumbs-up for his work and wished him Godspeed in completing the task.Bendon said the plan likely will be complete by June 1, which is the date the council has set to hire the city’s new construction enforcement officer.”We’re in the process of defining the position,” Bendon said. “We will then advertise the position.”The construction enforcement officer, who will be part of the Community Development Department, will make sure contractors adhere to the construction management plan.

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