In Brief: Streetwork season on tap; deputies get ready for boating; don’t feed the bears |

In Brief: Streetwork season on tap; deputies get ready for boating; don’t feed the bears

Staff report

Aspen gets busy with curbs, gutters, and asphalt

The city of Aspen is continuing curb, gutter, and asphalt replacements in targeted areas throughout downtown and in some residential areas. Curb and gutter improvements will continue through mid-May on South Aspen Street, Hopkins Avenue, and Ute Avenue.

On May 1, asphalt paving will begin in multiple locations throughout the city. Officials said delays due to weather or other unexpected issues may impact timelines for construction.

Pedestrian and business access will remain open with pedestrian and accessible access detours in place, they said, adding to expect parking limitations as well as bus, vehicle, and pedestrian detours and potential one-way traffic.

These street improvements will repair damaged curb, gutter, and asphalt and will improve the safety for street users, adjacent property owners, and the traveling public, officials said. The city conducts major asphalt street repairs every three years on streets with the most degradation. The city is also coordinating with CDOT, separately from this project, to repair Highway 82.

For construction dates, potential detours, and parking impacts updates, visit

For more information, contact the city of Aspen Engineering: Scott Wenning at (970) 987-1274 or Jack Danneberg at (970) 429-2750.

Deputies pass boat incident investigator course

Last week, two Pitkin County deputies completed the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Boat Incident Investigator course at Lake Mead in Nevada and are now certified Boat Incident Investigators.

This certification will enable the deputies to investigate boating accidents, particularly those that involve injury or death. It highlights the importance of the rural area deputy program and promotes boater safety, education, and ensuring the safety of everyone on Ruedi Reservoir this summer, the Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page.

As the boating season approaches, sheriff’s officials encouraged people to visit the state Parks and Wildlife’s boating safety website to learn more about keeping themselves and their families safer on the water this summer. For more information, call 970-920-5300.

Bears are waking up; some tips

Bears are now coming out of hibernation, so they are on the lookout for any food source they can find to fill their empty bellies. Attractants are the main cause of bear activity in Aspen, city officials say.

According to the city:

Once bears become familiar with a domestic food source, it is difficult to change their behavior and could lead to relocating or euthanizing the bruin. Here are some precautions: 

  • Ensure that trash receptacles are latched, secure, and bear resistant. 
  • Reach out to staff, clients, and others to remind them of bear ordinances. 
  • Put trash receptacles out for pickup after 6 a.m. on pickup day and store them by 7 p.m. on the same day. 
  • Post bear-awareness reminders on dumpsters and in common places. 
  • Reserve trash receptacles for your clients only, not the public. 
  • Install security cameras to identify those who leave dumpsters unsecure or trash outside. 
  • Keep waste containers clean.

For more information about city ordinances and how to live with wildlife, visit

Airport forecast anticipates minimal growth in traffic

The preliminary results of the forecast for future air travel demand at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport were presented to the Airport Advisory Board on Thursday. 

The forecast is part of the Airport Layout Plan process, which is required to receive substantial Airport Improvement Program Funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Following review, the the advisory board will determine whether to advance the forecast to the Board of County Commissioners for a resolution to submit to the FAA for final review and approval.

The results of the draft airport passenger and aircraft forecast include the number of current and estimated future commercial passengers, commercial operations, and total operations, including private general aviation flights, as well as the types of potential planes that are anticipated to serve the airport in the future. 

At the Aspen airport, annual passenger growth from 2000 to 2019 was 2.3% annually. 

The Common Ground Recommendations developed by the community during the airport vision process state, “we recognize that our 0.8% enplanement growth goal is both aspirational and approximate. Federal law limits our ability to set exact enplanement limits, but we urge using our limited tools as best we can.”

The passenger forecast contains a 1.3% growth forecast. The difference between the 0.8% growth rate in the Common Ground Recommendations and the 1.3% forecasted rate, which is expected to meet FAA requirements for accuracy, equates to an average difference of less than six enplanements per day, county officials said.

For planning purposes, the FAA does not allow restrictions which “unjustly discriminate” or prohibit certain types of aircraft operations that are currently certified to safely operate at the airport, officials said. As such, the likely future fleet includes the CRJ-700, Embraer-175LR, and Airbus A220-100/300, they said.

According to the updated aircraft fleet mix, the operations forecast shows the potential for fewer daily commercial flights in the future into Aspen. As the next generation of cleaner, quieter, safer, and larger commercial aircraft come online, the average daily difference anticipated in the commercial forecast is less than one operation per day for air carriers and air taxis. 

For private planes, the average daily increase is also forecasted to be less than one additional general aviation operation per day. Total general aviation operations at the Aspen airport are forecasted to remain relatively flat over the next 20 years, with an anticipated increase of 0.75% annually, through 2042.