Independence Pass work resumes |

Independence Pass work resumes

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The Independence Pass Foundation will resume its ongoing efforts to stabilize slopes and control erosion on the upper reaches of the pass, east of Aspen, starting Tuesday.

Work will take place along Highway 82, just west of the summit, through the end of September, weather permitting.

Motorists will encounter single-lane, alternating traffic between mile markers 60 and 61 throughout the duration of the work. The Colorado Department of Transportation will provide traffic control; the work zone will be controlled by automated traffic lights during non-work hours. Delays should not be longer than 15 minutes, according to CDOT; motorists are urged to be patient and maintain a safe following distance while traveling through the area.

This year’s phase will cost $175,000. The foundation’s contractors include ELC Inc. of Denver and Aspen Earthmoving. The project will focus on an area dubbed the “middle cut,” where loose rock was scaled last season; work will continue to stabilize the tundra and build a retaining wall to control rockfall and erosion.

Farther west, the foundation’s contractors also will complete final installation of a compost blanket on the slope below the highway.

“The compost blanket is intended to improve growing conditions and to support the growth of native grasses and shrubs on the slopes below the road,” said Mark Fuller, foundation director, in a press release. “The work at the middle cut retaining wall will include slope reconstruction to re-establish natural grades and prepare for final revegetation in 2009.”

The final wall section will be completed in 2010, according to Fuller. The projects are all part of the foundation’s Top Cut project, aimed at halting erosion and promoting revegetation of damaged areas in the high-alpine environment.

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