Don’t plan travel on Mill Street |

Don’t plan travel on Mill Street

John Colson

Motorists will experience a little more difficulty than usual getting around downtown Aspen for the next month.

The normally busy blocks of Mill Street between Main Street and Hyman Avenue will be closed off.

Crews started putting up traffic barriers on Monday in preparation for digging two trenches along two blocks of Mill Street. This first phase of the project will last until late April, according to the city’s asset manager, Ed Sadler.

The second phase of the project will involve digging trenches along one block of Hyman Avenue, between Monarch and Mill streets. That work will get under way in late April and finish in early May.

Sadler said there are two crews working simultaneously on two different aspects of the project – a backhoe crew will be digging a trench for utilities, while an “excavator” crew will be digging a deeper trench for a storm sewer.

From now through April 26, one crew or the other will be at work on the blocks between Main and Hyman, necessitating the closure of Mill Street from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sadler said.

The same will be true for the block of Hyman Avenue, starting on April 19 and continuing through May 7.

But from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night, Sadler said, the streets will be reopened to traffic. Any holes or unfilled trenches will be marked by ropes, or covered with steel plates, he added.

Sadler said that after the spring projects, which are to cost roughly $250,000, the city will reopen the streets and wait until next fall to continue.

At that time, workers will reconstruct the sidewalks along the two-block stretch surrounding the intersection of Mill and Hyman, from Hopkins to Monarch. In addition, city crews will install new landscaping and resurface the streets along the two blocks.

The work is part of the city’s Downtown Enhancement Pedestrian Plan, which was created by city staffers and a task force of citizen planners. Known as the DEPP, the plan involves a variety of projects to beautify the downtown core and make it more pedestrian friendly.

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