City of Aspen approves $1M contract with state for roundabout overhaul

Work next year is part of a larger project to resurface Highway 82 at the entrance to town; roundabout to get concrete and new design

Aspen City Council on Tuesday approved a $1 million contract with the Colorado Department of Transportation to overhaul the roundabout at the entrance to town.

The work won’t be done until next year, when CDOT will spend several months on a $7 million project that will see a resurfacing of Highway 82 from the airport to the Castle Creek Bridge.

“What the community can expect next summer is there is going to be a lot of construction along that corridor to maintain our crucial infrastructure improvements that have been lagging and needed to take place and so your investment today has really spurred CDOT’s investment to come in and help us maintain our crucial infrastructure,” Jack Danneberg, project manager in the city’s engineering department, told council.

CDOT had planned to replace 2 inches of asphalt but city officials, including council members, agreed to invest in concrete, which lasts decades longer.

The roundabout has been a problem area for dangerous driving conditions due to large potholes that develop as a result of failing asphalt. Asphalt needs to be replaced every two to three years while concrete can last 30 years.

Persistent maintenance and repairs occur each year, which causes traffic jams in a heavily traveled roadway, Danneberg said.

The $980,000 contributed by the city is based on the estimated difference for concrete placement and asphalt resurfacing in the roundabout.

Project partners include the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, the Elected Officials Transportation Committee, Pitkin County and the city.

The financial contribution is about $671,000, with $271,000 pending approval from the transportation committee, $100,000 from Pitkin County and $300,000 from RFTA.

CDOT will fund the remainder of the of the resurfacing project. While the work is being done throughout the spring, summer and fall of 2022, there will be impacts to traffic, so Pitkin County is allowing the use of McLain Flats as a detour.

The detour down Smith Hill Way to McLain Flats to Cemetery Lane will not be an active detour but if motorists want to use it, they will be allowed.

Buses and large trucks will stay on Highway 82.

The repaving will be done at night to minimize impacts to business.

The Aspen roundabout construction is part of the first phase of the project, to minimize community impacts during the high season.

CDOT’s project includes a full replacement of the western Castle Creek Bridge joint, according to Pete Rice, division manager in the city’s engineering department.

“This is a really great bonus,” he said. “It’s a complicated piece of this project that CDOT is providing … the joint has needed repair several times over the course of years.”

The joint replacement will require a lane closure over the Castle Creek Bridge at various times, which will cause delays much like what was seen when the area underwent an overhaul in 2018.

Other pieces of the resurfacing project include ADA ramps at the Buttermilk intersection, Maroon Creek Bridge deck replacement, guardrail replacement near the Tiehack bridge and Maroon Creek Bridge joint replacement.


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