Night work, road closures ahead for Aspen offices
Impacts of the new Aspen city offices on Rio Grande Place will be felt 24-7 for the foreseeable future as night work has begun and the road off of Mill Street will be closed beginning April 1.
From 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., crews are working with floodlights on and heavy equipment through Thursday to complete overhead work at the lower level entrance and exit of the Rio Grande parking garage, according to Kathleen Wanatowicz, public information officer for the project.
She explained to a large group during a community meeting Tuesday that the garage will remain open with some detours. There may be short holds and delays while exiting the garage during the evening.
The lower level entrance will be closed, so motorists are being asked to use the Mill Street ramp to enter the garage.
The work is being done to prepare for the city to build a 37,500-square-foot building where the old Aspen Chamber Resort Association stood.
Rio Grande Place will be shut down to traffic beginning April from North Mill Street. Motorists wanting to enter the garage will be routed from the east side off of Spring Street, according to city officials.
Then in May, Rio Grande Place will be open to traffic but the east side near the recycling center will be closed and traffic to the garage will come in from the west side.
The road closures are a result of utility work that needs to be done to serve the new building.
The Galena Street Shuttle stop will be relocated to in front of Locals Corner at the intersection of Main and Galena streets starting April 1. Currently, it picks people up in front of the garage entrance on Rio Grande Place.
Those who want to use Rio Grande Park are encouraged to drop people off in the garage across the street; the first 20 minutes are free to motorists.
Park users also can use the old power plant location on the north side of Rio Grande Park to drop off users of the open space.
Taster’s Pizza will remain open for the summer.
Also on Tuesday, Aspen City Council signed off on using certificates of participation to fund the project, which is estimated to cost $30.5 million.
The city will receive $30.6 million and have a payback of $33 million using a 3.78 percent borrowing interest rate, according to Pete Strecker, city finance director.
“That is a historically low rate for us,” he told council. “The cost of borrowing is advantageous for us.”
The other pieces of the entire city offices project include a $14 million renovation and remodel of the current City Hall, as well as $1.2 million for renovation of the existing Rio Grande building where Taster’s and the city’s Parking Department is located.
During construction, the Parking Department will move to the city’s North Mill Street location where the engineering and building departments are.
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