Expect major traffic delays near Aspen from Sept. 5-22

Two road construction projects in Upper Valley will affect Colorado Highway 82 commuters

Two projects will affect drivers in the Upper Valley in the coming weeks. Starting Sept. 11, general commuters should expect delays of 60-90 minutes and school buses face delays of up to 30 minutes.

  • Smith Bridge closure: Pitkin County is closing Smith Bridge on Smith Hill to replace deteriorating asphalt, Sept. 5 – 14.
  • Main Street/CO 82: The City of Aspen and Colorado Department of Transportation are undertaking a significant resurfacing project on Main Street in Aspen, Sept. 11 – 22.

Smith Bridge

The Smith Bridge near Woody Creek will undergo improvements next month that will require a full closure of the bridge to traffic. Commuters who use the bridge to go to and from Aspen via Smith Hill Way to access McLain Flats Road or drive McLain Flats Road to reach Highway 82 via Smith Way will be affected.

To reach Upper River Road, people driving upvalley will be detoured to Gerbaz Way from Highway 82. Downvalley drivers using McLain Flats Road will be detoured onto Upper River Road and through Woody Creek.

The detours are for residents and others with destinations in the Woody Creek and McLain Flats areas; other drivers are encouraged to use Highway 82.

Main Street in Aspen

The City of Aspen identified the need to undertake a significant resurfacing project for Main Street that will take place Sept. 11-22. This maintenance is imperative to address the poor road conditions, including critical potholes, that have caused undue wear and tear on vehicles. 

While these road improvements are necessary for the safety and well-being of our community, substantial delays are anticipated, with some estimates adding over an hour of travel time. 

School buses will receive priority, however, parents should anticipate delays of up to 30 minutes. Parents are encouraged to utilize the school bus system rather than conducting personal drop-offs.

A community effort to reduce traffic impact and enhance safety

With safety as a priority, the city and county encourage alternate forms of transportation and ask residents, businesses, and those who commute to consider measures to minimize traffic impact during these important projects.

  • Biking: Utilize bike-friendly pathways
  • Public transit: Consider public transit for daily commuting. Utilize Brush Creek Park and Ride or Basalt Park and Ride facilities, both open throughout the project’s duration.
  • Working from home: If this is possible for you, work remotely to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
  • Staggered work hours: If you are an employer, consider flexible work hours to help alleviate peak time traffic congestion.