Next on Hwy. 82: 1.5 four-lane miles for $16.3 million |

Next on Hwy. 82: 1.5 four-lane miles for $16.3 million

John Colson

Highway crews are expected to begin work in late April on the Snowmass Creek East and West phase of the ongoing Highway 82 widening project.

The Kiewit-Western Co. is the apparent low bidder on the 1.5-mile long project, with a bid of $16.3 million, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Kiewit-Western bid was below the engineer’s estimate for the job by more than $445,000.

Kiewit-Western already is working on the Holland Hills and Shale Bluffs portions of the project, said CDOT regional construction engineer Ralph Trapani. Having one company on three sections of the project “makes it easier to coordinate flaggers along the road controlling traffic this summer, so we can make sure there are minimal traffic delays,” he added.

The Snowmass Creek project will involve work from just east of the Wingo Junction bridge to a short distance upvalley from the Snowmass Creek Road intersection.

Trapani said the upvalley lanes of the road will be built first.

Although much of the upvalley lane is being built on the same level as the existing roadway, Trapani said it will have to be elevated along a hillside in the middle portion of the stretch in what he termed “terraced” construction.

After the upvalley lanes are completed, Trapani said, traffic will be detoured off the existing roadway and new downvalley lanes will be built along the existing highway right of way.

As part of the project, Trapani said, the contractor will be replacing the 50-year-old bridge across Snowmass Creek. A traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk will be installed at the Snowmass Creek Road intersection, along with a roughly 40-car “park ‘n’ ride” lot.

In addition, a pedestrian underpass will be built to connect the Lazy Glen Trailer Park to the upvalley Roaring Fork Transit Agency bus stop.

Trapani pledged that crews will not delay traffic during peak rush hours in the mornings and evenings this summer. There will be only intermittent five-minute delays during the work hours of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and traffic control supervisors will coordinate with RFTA to ensure that delays are minimal for buses, he said.

Trapani said his department is working on the final details of the Snowmass Canyon section – the next phase of the project – slated to get under way in the summer of 2000.

Trapani said there will be a combined open house and public hearing on the Snowmass Canyon project at Basalt High School on April 20. At that time, he hopes to display a model of one of the more complicated sections of the canyon project and get citizens’ comments on the project as a whole.

In general, he said, highway engineers are still trying to figure out how to handle detouring traffic off Highway 82 and onto Lower River Road, or if that needs to be done at all.

“Our detour cost ranges from zero to $14 million,” he said. The options include everything from temporary bridges to retaining walls and realignment of existing bridges.

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