News in Brief
A touch of gray for Maroon Creek bridgeASPEN Pitkin County commissioners decided Tuesday against painting the concrete on the Maroon Creek bridge currently under construction on the edge of Aspen.If the Aspen City Council approves, the move would save the Colorado Department of Transportation more than $200,000 out of the $18 million total construction cost.”The gray, mottled color actually enhanced the existing historic structure,” said Brian Pettet, public works director for Pitkin County.In earlier engineering studies, and following a public process, officials from the Elected Officials Transportation Committee agreed to paint the concrete bridge supports to match the bluffs nearby, Pettet said.But as the project – now nearly halfway complete – has progressed, the gray of the concrete matches the existing Maroon Creek bridge, Pettet said.And he asked commissioners to “let concrete be concrete” and leave the structure as is, saving city and county officials the future cost and hassle of repainting the bridge. Commissioner Rachel Richards said she originally believed the project would be a tinted concrete, and was concerned that painting and repainting would be an environmental hazard for the river below.County commissioners voted unanimously to leave the bridge bare concrete. (Charles Agar)Channel 18 fading to blackASPEN On June 29, channel 18 on the Comcast cable system will go dark.In a memo to county officials, Comcast franchise compliance specialist Glenn Walker, wrote that the programming on channel 18 will move to TV Aspen (channel 19) as channel 18 exits the lineup.CDOT chief to speak at workshopGLENWOOD SPRINGS Russell George, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, will be the lead speaker at a workshop from noon to 5 p.m. Friday.George, a longtime Rifle resident and former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, is one of several regional, state and national leaders set to speak at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.The New Century Transportation Foundation organized the workshop, which will explore new approaches for transportation that can help Colorado create a transportation system in line with state policy-makers’ goals for greater energy independence, economic prosperity and environmental quality.The workshop is open to the public, and offers a chance to speak with decision-makers on transportation issues, and to learn more about what’s coming for the Highway 82 and Interstate 70 corridors.Transportation accounts for more than 85 percent of all oil use in Colorado, according to the NCTF, and is the largest source of global warming emissions, both nationally and locally.Creating a “New Energy Economy” has been a major theme for Gov. Bill Ritter’s administration. The state Legislature and the governor approved numerous bills this session encouraging energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.In additional to George, speakers will include state Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison; state Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; David Burwell, a national expert on linking transportation and climate policy; Jim Charlier of EPA’s national Smart Growth team; award-winning transportation engineer Ralph Trapani, a former CDOT head for the region; energy analyst Randy Udall; and Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland a member of the governor’s Blue Ribbon Transportation Financing Panel.Registration costs $25. For more information or to register, http://www.newcenturytrans.org.
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: The Colorado Department of Transportation gives Aspen’s roundabout a poor grade in terms of level of service so it’s thinking about making changes. But first, a study or two must be done.