County to Skico: No more breaking of the rules
Pitkin County refused Tuesday to grant the Aspen Skiing Co. three more chances to break the rules laid out in the construction plan for the new Sundeck restaurant being built on Aspen Mountain.
Had the Skico gotten its way, residents of Little Annie Basin would have been in for more early morning truck traffic noise.
The pouring and finishing of concrete has proved more difficult than anticipated, say the contractors, due to hot temperatures, dry air and wind at the site. The company requested that concrete trucks be allowed to drive up Little Annie road at 6:15 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., the earliest Pitkin County will allow truck traffic to start. Construction officials said the cool air and calm winds of early morning will allow the concrete to be poured properly.
The construction management plan, hammered out between the Skico and the county in spring, allows for 10 exception days when sanctions won’t be enforced for truck traffic outside of the 9 a.m.-to-4 p.m. window. When violations started to occur in April, just after the project started, the county commissioners threatened to halt the project by issuing a stop-work order.
The Skico is already taking matters into its own hands by fining subcontractors on the job for violating the terms of the plan. Gert Van Moorsel, construction manager for the Sundeck project, told the commissioners six exception days have been used and the company has issued 11 fines so far.
Chuck Apostolik, project supervisor for Shaw Construction, the general contractor, told the county commissioners that regular batches of concrete start to cure in about 90 minutes. It has been taking about 85 minutes to get trucks from the batch plant in Carbondale to the Aspen Mountain job site. By the time the concrete is poured, he said, it cannot be finished properly.
He said concrete workers had to dump two truckloads of concrete into a hole to get rid of it, because it could not be used.
Two Little Annie Basin residents – Molly Heizer and Jim Albert – urged the commissioners not to grant any more exception days.
Commission Chairwoman Leslie Lamont complimented the Skico on its attempt to stay within the management plan, but suggested to the rest of the board that they vote not to allow any more exception days. The commissioners agreed, voting unanimously against the proposal.
Concrete pouring is scheduled for July 16 and tentatively for July 19 and Sept. 14.
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The city of Aspen is contributing $1 million to a CDOT project that will see concrete instead of asphalt at the roundabout into town.