Basalt to hold grand opening Friday for park, underpass | AspenTimes.com

Basalt to hold grand opening Friday for park, underpass

Staff report

Basalt is hosting a grand opening of its new pedestrian underpass and riverside park Friday.

The event kicks off at 1:30 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the pedestrian underpass at Highway 82 and Basalt Avenue. The festivities will start on the north side of the highway near The Basalt Store.

Immediately following will be a ribbon cutting at Basalt River Park along the Roaring Fork River, across from Town Hall. Pizza and soft drinks will be served at 3:30 p.m. There will be a mariachi band at 3:30 p.m. and kids' games at 4 p.m.

The pedestrian underpass is a safer connection between the main section of town and the Southside neighborhood. There's a lot of foot traffic generated by the upvalley bus stop and the high school in Southside and a variety of amenities in and near downtown. Pedestrians previously had to cross multiple lanes on Highway 82.

Basalt River Park is opening on 2.9 acres of land the town government acquired in August 2011. It spent $1.2 million in open space funds with the intent of creating the riverside park.

The development of the park has been overshadowed by controversy on the remaining part of what was once the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park. The nonprofit Roaring Fork Community Development Corp purchased the remaining 2.3 acres, closest to Two Rivers Road. It remains to be seen if that property will be used for commercial and residential development, additional parkland or a combination.