Basalt prepares to undertake major road projects on Midland Avenue and Willits Lane
It’s cone-zone time in Basalt.
Two road repavement projects will be undertaken later this month on busy arteries in town.
The intersection at Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue will be closed from Monday morning until Tuesday afternoon. Downtown businesses will be open and detours will provide access. Traffic coming from downvalley on Two Rivers Road will use Midland Spur to access downtown. Traffic coming from upvalley will be directed from Two Rivers Road onto Cottonwood Drive. There will be no access to downtown via the roundabout on Basalt Avenue.
While planning the project, town staff figured a closure on a Monday evening would be preferred over busier evenings later in the week.
“Staff has been notifying businesses of the closure and we have been fielding a number of calls,” Town Manager Ryan Mahoney wrote in a recent report to the Town Council. “Mainly we are being asked why would do these improvements now instead of waiting until the offseason.”
The town determined it could not shut down the intersection while school is in session, Mahoney said. Weather also played a role in the timing. Wet, cold weather throughout the spring delayed contractors’ schedules. The town also had to coordinate the roadwork with the completion of widening sidewalks on Cottonwood Drive. It didn’t want to divert traffic onto Cottonwood while that project was ongoing.
Addition parking will be available on Two Rivers Road west of downtown by the river park for access to businesses in Gold Rivers Court. Parking will also be available at the Basalt Elementary School.
The town’s contractor will roto-mill the existing surface on Two Rivers Road from the intersection to the Fryingpan Bridge by 7-Eleven, according to Mahoney. It will receive a 2-inch overlay.
“The intersection has started to deteriorate, especially during the winter when we dealt with a number of potholes,” Mahoney wrote in his report. “If we do not keep on top of these repairs, it is likely that a costlier and longer duration project would be needed in the future.”
By closing the intersection, it can be limited to one evening only, according to Mahoney.
On the western end of town, there will be roto-milling and repaving on Willits Lane on July 24 to 26. The work will occur on the eastern and western ends of the busy, horseshoe-shaped route.
The work will target about 550 feet off Highway 82 on the eastern end and about 1,280 feet on the western end from the roundabout to Lewis Lane. Detours will be in place.
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Kevin Warner started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in 2001. Now he’s taking over the key position as Aspen-Sopris District Ranger.