County, Snowmass split the difference over Brush Creek
July 10, 2006
The $3 million Brush Creek Trail will have a split personality, of sorts. The trail will have a new bridge at one crossing of Brush Creek and a “used bridge” at another crossing. The town of Snowmass Village and Pitkin County came to a compromise Monday after months of disagreement on how to build and pay for two bridges on the trail.The “used bridge” is a section of the old Maroon Creek pedestrian bridge that ran parallel to Highway 82 as it crosses Maroon Creek. The pedestrian bridge was taken down to make room for construction of a new, four-lane bridge across Maroon Creek.The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program initially wanted to use segments of the Maroon Creek pedestrian bridge to cross Brush Creek at the upper and lower sections of the trail. However, Snowmass Town Council members said they wanted new bridges that are more attractive and better reflect the town’s history.Snowmass offered to pay half the estimated $180,000 for two new bridges, and that offer formed the basis of a compromise. The new bridge is being built on the upper portion of the trail at a cost of $64,000, with Snowmass and Pitkin County each paying half.The new bridge is one “that more reflects the style of ranching heritage of Snowmass,” Snowmass Mayor Doug Mercatoris said after a joint meeting of Pitkin County commissioners and the Snowmass Town Council.The lower bridge sits on the Cozy Point South property near the intersection of Brush Creek Road and Highway 82; the upper crossing sits near the Rodeo Grounds along Brush Creek Road.The Brush Creek Trail is one of many open space projects the county is trying to finish quickly as construction prices increase. The county is also completing repairs on the Rio Grande trail along the Roaring Fork River.Pitkin County Land Manager Gary Tennenbaum said the new trail should be complete by mid- to late August. “We’re still hoping they deliver [the bridge] in the time frame we want it,” Tennenbaum said.Greg Schreier’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.