Maroon Creek bridge work to close highway periodically | AspenTimes.com

Maroon Creek bridge work to close highway periodically

Chad Abraham

In a few weeks, traffic across the Maroon Creek bridge will come to a halt for about an hour twice a night as the old pedestrian bridge is carted away piece by gigantic piece.The issue came up at a meeting of the valley’s emergency responders Wednesday. Deputy Fire Chief Orrin Moon asked a representative from the construction company that will move the bridge whether the effort will shut down the span entirely.It will. The pieces are 14 feet tall and 84 feet long, and on the back of a specially designed trailer, they will take up the entire width of the bridge. In the event of an emergency, the trailer will not be able to immediately move off the bridge once a crane deposits a piece onto it. The process of moving one piece off the bridge will take about 45 minutes, said Tom Metheny, project manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation. If necessary, emergency vehicles will be able to cross Maroon Creek using the pedestrian bridge near the Aspen Recreation Center, Moon said. He drove over it recently in a large fire truck to test its weight.”That was the big test. I didn’t fall in,” Moon said.In the event of a major emergency, the fire department will rely on its Aspen Village and Woody Creek stations, as well as the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District.Two bridge pieces a night will be moved between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Traffic on both sides of Maroon Creek will be stopped.The pedestrian bridge, which is adjacent to the highway bridge, is disappearing to make way for construction of an entirely new bridge.The schedule calls for the pedestrian bridge to be dismantled the last week of September, Metheny said. The pieces will stay on the canyon floor until the following week, when the process of moving them begins. They will be taken to a site near Basalt and will eventually be used in trails throughout the valley.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com

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