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Open Space to fund pedestrian bridges

Aspen Times Staff Report

Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails Board agreed last week to contribute $250,000 to a project that will connect several pedestrian and bike trails near the Maroon Creek roundabout.

The Open Space program’s contribution will help with the purchase and installation of two trail bridges, each 12 feet wide and 60 feet long. One bridge will cross Maroon Creek Road and the other will span Castle Creek Road. The entire project, with an estimated cost of $926,200, will involve 3,000 feet of concrete trails, a pond, rock retaining walls, and plantings.

Though a contractor has not been selected for the project, city of Aspen Parks Director Jeff Woods told the Open Space board he hopes to get Gould Construction to install the bridges. The goal is to install them sometime during the fall. Both bridges will have approaches on a parcel of property owned by the Open Space program, the triangle of land immediately north of the Prince of Peace Chapel.

The bridges and an existing pedestrian and bicycle underpass beneath Highway 82 will allow safe connections between the Aspen-Airport Business Center trail along the golf course and trails to Aspen High School and Aspen Valley Hospital, as well as the trail along the south side of Highway 82.

The Pitkin County commissioners must augment the Open Space program’s budget to accommodate the expenditure for the project. A meeting to discuss the request has not been scheduled.

Open Space board members Bill Fales and Rick Neiley said that the safety of school children is worth the expense.

“If one kid doesn’t get hit by a car because of this, it was worth it,” Fales said.


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