Judge issues order to stop trail work | AspenTimes.com

Judge issues order to stop trail work

John Colson
Aspen, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A judge has granted a request for a temporary restraining order halting construction of a trail along Castle Creek Road, and local officials are worried the project may have to be delayed for a year.

A group of landowners on July 27 filed a request for the restraining order gainst Pitkin County over plans to build a $1.9 million trail along a 3,000-foot stretch of Castle Creek Road leading to the Aspen Music Festival and School campus. Construction was to begin Monday.

County officials have argued the trail, which essentially would be a sidewalk hugging the road, is needed for the safety of students who walk between the campus and the Marolt housing complex for music students. Critics of the plan say the county is spending too much money and failed to adequately notify adjacent landowners of its plans, among other objections.

Ninth Judicial District Judge James Boyd ruled at a conference Monday morning that he would grant the order to delay work on the project, according to Dale Will, director of the county’s Open Space and Trails program.

But, Will said, Boyd would only do that if the plaintiffs, landowner Dick Butera and a dozen others, agreed to post what the judge termed “an appropriate bond” sufficient to cover any extra costs caused by the delay.

A second conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday in Boyd’s Glenwood Springs courtroom, to decide “an appropriate bond” amount.

Will said he was uncertain what a delay in the project might mean, but noted that the price tag for the trail is based on a bid from Kiewitt Construction, which submitted what he called “a very low bid” because the company already had equipment and workers in the valley finishing up the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport runway project.

The next lowest bid, Will said, was from Gould Construction, at $2.7 million, a price that Will said might become the new low bid if Kiewitt is forced to pull out due to a delay.

In addition, Will said, inflation on large-scale projects is generally running at around 30 percent per year.

This story will be updated.