News in brief
July 28, 2011
ASPEN – Motorists heading over Independence Pass southeast of Aspen on Tuesday may encounter delays of up to one hour, as crews paint stripes on Highway 82.
The stripe work was to be finished early this week, but heavy rain that fell Monday is forcing crews to repaint stripes on some sections in addition to other work that had been scheduled on Tuesday, Aug. 2, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
On Monday, Aug. 1, crews will re-stripe a narrow, winding 10-mile stretch where this week’s paint job was washed away, between Lincoln Creek Road and the summit. Motorists should anticipate traffic slowdowns between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., according to CDOT.
On Tuesday, crews will continue striping the lower part of the pass, from two miles below the winter closure gate to Lincoln Creek Road. One-hour delays are expected between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., CDOT said.
CDOT is urging motorists to drive slowly through the area while the work is under way, and to refrain from attempting to pass the striping truck. Doing so will lead to wet paint transferring from the pavement to vehicles, the agency warned.
ASPEN – Volunteers are needed to help put on the USA Pro Cycling Challenge when it rolls into Aspen on Aug. 24. Open positions include event parking and assisting the ZGreen Group with various environmental tasks.
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A problem with the race organizer’s website wiped out some volunteer registration and contact information. Those who have signed up but haven’t been contacted are urged to email Aspen Local Organizing Committee volunteer chair Jennifer Greechan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any new volunteers must sign up at http://www.upcc.com/volunteer. The open positions are also listed at the website.
Volunteers are also being sought for the Aspen/Snowmass Women’s Pro Stage Race presented by UnitedHealthcare on Aug. 22-24. Greechan is the contact for those positions.
The U.S. Forest Service has extended an emergency order to restrict access to all caves and abandoned mines in national forests and grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Region. That includes Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
Access was restricted for one year last July to protect against possible spread of White-nose Syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America. Acting Regional Forester Jerome Thomas signed a one-year extension to the original emergency order.
The extension is needed to provide the agency with more time to better understand how the disease is migrating across the country, under what conditions is thrives and what measures are effective in preventing its spread.
The White River National Forest temporarily eased the restrictions this month to accommodate the National Speleological Society, which held its annual conference in Glenwood Springs. The cavers were allowed to enter specific caves as long as they followed precautions, such as de-contaminating clothing and gear.
White-nose Syndrome hasn’t been discovered yet in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Region national forests and grasslands support about 21 species of bats and they have an estimated 30,000 abandoned mines and hundreds of caves.
ASPEN – There will be service for Shannon Stapleton at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30 at Newbury Park in Aspen (on the Rio Grande Trail, behind Herron Park).
Please bring a good memory to share and chair or blanket.
A July 22 article incorrectly described road conditions that racers will find during the Queen Stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge between Gunnison and Aspen.
The cyclists will race on a compacted dirt surface on the ascent up the west side of Cottonwood Pass. The road on the east side of the pass is paved, with steep pitches and numerous switchbacks. The pavement starts at the summit.
The article also should have made it clear that the summit of Cottonwood Pass is nearly 49 miles from Gunnison and that the climb up the pass itself is about 14 miles, according to stage statistics at http://www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/.