In Brief: Sinkhole in Snowmass Village; trailwork begins on Airline; county seeks feedback on $20-$25 million trail proposal
Snowmass Village grapples with sinkhole
A sinkhole has developed on the edge of Brush Creek Road immediately downhill of Lower Kearns Road in Snowmass Village.
The town of Snowmass Village Public Works Department responded and will continue to work with agency partners to assess and stabilize the area, officials said. They noted the damage wasn’t as extensive as feared. The sinkhole has exposed some critical utilities, which will be addressed as part of the stabilization.
Traffic will be impacted as the situation develops. Single-lane, traffic control measures will be in place in the affected area. The route to the Snowmass Center is currently detoured to Upper Kearns Road.
Updates will be provided at tosv.com and on the Town’s social media:
- TOSV Facebook: facebook.com/TownofSnowmass/
- TOSV Twitter: twitter.com/TownofSnowmass
Construction of features on Airline Trail begins Monday
Construction of additional features, such as optional jumps, on Airline Trail will begin Monday, Pitkin County officials announced.
The project will take about two weeks. Riders should expect machinery on the trail and ride with caution, officials said. There may also be delays in letting trail traffic through. With last year’s construction of Incline at Sky Mountain Park, Airline became a one-way, downhill-only trail, making the changes possible.
Feedback sought on trail between AABC and Brush Creek Park & Ride
Pitkin County seeks community feedback on a potential trail that would connect the Aspen Airport Business Center (AABC) and the Brush Creek Park & Ride.
“The trail section between the AABC and the Brush Creek Park and Ride is a significant gap in Pitkin County’s extensive trail system,” said Gary Tennenbaum, director of Pitkin County Open Space & Trails. “While the project costs are high compared to previous other local projects, our focus is to better understand what the community wants and then further explore a number of factors that contribute to the feasibility of the project.”
Other factors, in addition to community feedback, include a cost and benefit analysis, exploration of multimodal opportunities, projected user data, connectivity of the trail system, and identifying funding and grant possibilities. An engineering feasibility study completed in February 2022 looking at all alignment options demonstrated a preferred alternative with a projected cost between $20 million and $25 million.
A new trail would also provide access to the Rio Grande Trail and greater trail network. The current trail connection from the Brush Creek Park & Ride to the AABC requires trail users to go down to Jaffee Park and up a gravel path that has an average grade of about 12%. At present, getting to the Aspen Airport Business Center from the Rio Grande Trail requires users to descend to the Stein Bridge and climb up a gravel path with another steep grade, averaging about 15%. This route also adds two miles.
An online survey regarding trail alignment options and use is now live through the end of July and can be found at pitkinostprojects.com
CDOT adds funding for road repairs
The Colorado Department of Transportation is investing additional funds received last month to address road conditions after one of the most intense winters in recent decades damaged some roads beyond what they normally sustain each year.
Twelve stretches of roadway across the state have been identified, and preparations are underway to make repairs as soon as possible, officials said. More than $17.6 million in funding has been distributed to two emergency projects, and $7.4 million is being managed by CDOT’s Division of Maintenance and Operations to reimburse local maintenance teams that either perform roadwork or oversee contracted projects. Weather conditions across the state have finally warmed enough that permanent repairs can be made to roads.
Two large stretches of mountain highways will receive extensive work under emergency contracts with private construction contractors. U.S. Highway 40 on the north side of Berthoud Pass, near Winter Park, has experienced badly deteriorating conditions since mid-winter, and maintenance crews have spent weeks making temporary fixes during the seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. A stretch of Interstate 70 from just east of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels will also receive pavement resurfacing. This new stretch of road will connect to a project that was already planned near Georgetown and Silver Plume.
Ten additional sections of roadways will receive funding for projects that CDOT maintenance staff will oversee. As work scopes and cost estimates continue to be refined, it will determine whether maintenance staff can perform the work directly in accordance with state law or whether projects will be contracted to private construction firms and overseen by maintenance supervisors.
New appointment at Aspen museum
The Aspen Art Museum announce that Daniel Merritt has been appointed director of curatorial affairs. He will work closely with Nancy and Bob Magoon Director Nicola Lees to develop and oversee all curatorial programming, including exhibitions, commissions, public programs, and publications.
Since 2014, Merritt has worked at Swiss Institute in New York City, most recently as curator and head of residencies.
“I am thrilled to join the Aspen Art Museum, an adventurous institution founded by artists.” he said. “Throughout its history, the museum has demonstrated a commitment to discovery. Since the mid-twentieth century, the town of Aspen has been a haven for experimentation and the progress of artistic thought. Set in an astonishing panorama, the Aspen Art Museum is a hub in which the true voices of artists drive conversations. I look forward to fostering those voices.”
Merritt holds an MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, London, and a BA in Art History and American Studies from Columbia University, New York.
The Upper Colorado River Commission decided unanimously to continue the federally funded System Conservation Program in 2024 — but with a narrower scope that explores demand management concepts and supports innovation and local drought resiliency on a longer-term basis.