Elam to run more night operations
July 12, 2012
ASPEN – Nighttime operations at Elam Construction Inc. near Woody Creek will increase this year so the company can produce asphalt and concrete for various projects at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
County commissioners on Wednesday approved an amendment to the company’s permit, boosting allowed nighttime operations from 10 to 20 nights this construction season. In addition, the maximum number of truckloads per night will increase from 40 to 60.
Elam already has the ability to work 10 nights per year, with 40 truckloads per night, under its existing permit. It must give notice to the Woody Creek Caucus and nearby W/J Ranch homeowners 72 hours in advance of night work. Neither group raised objections to the bumping of nighttime activities this year, commissioners were told.
No mining at the gravel pit or crushing of materials will occur on the extra nights, an Elam representative said. Trucks will deliver material to the airport from roughly midnight to 5 or 5:30 a.m. on the days it operates to fulfill airport needs.
Elam was awarded a contract to provide material for several airport projects after the Federal Aviation Administration awarded $1.9 million for the improvements. A new deicing pad will be built, as will an additional connector between the taxiway and the runway. In addition, service-road improvements on the west side of the airport require paving work.
Commissioners already have OK’d nighttime work at the airport, while the facility is closed, but Commissioner Michael Owsley questioned the appropriateness of approving expanded nighttime operations at Elam so it can fulfill the needs of a county project.
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“It has the appearance of, how could we possibly turn this down? It looks to me like a conflict,” he said.
Commissioners should consider the proposal on its merits and contract with a different provider if the plan doesn’t pass muster, advised John Ely, county attorney.
“The county has other options than this,” he said.
Elam was chosen in a competitive bid process, but its close proximity to the airport could be advantageous, said County Manager Jon Peacock.
Stimulating the local economy and minimizing the distance trucks must travel to reach the airport are advantages in contracting with Elam, Commissioner George Newman argued.
Elam also is providing asphalt for Colorado Department of Transportation paving projects on Highway 82 this summer as well as several county road projects.