Pitkin County eyes improvement to Frying Pan Road, parking at Aspen Business Center
The Aspen Times
Cyclists looking forward to enjoying rides on Frying Pan Road will have a smoother ride once an upcoming chip-seal project is completed.
At the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners work session on Tuesday, County Engineer G.R. Fielding said the original plan was to cover 12 miles of the Frying Pan Road with a 5⁄8-inch aggregate. Concerns were raised about the rough nature of the thick aggregate that led Fielding to propose a double-chip covering for the first six miles of the project, which is the part of the road that sees a high amount of cycling use.
Fielding said the county then will put a second layer of smaller aggregate on the six-mile stretch of road that connects into Meredith. The road will only have the thicker aggregate from Meredith until the pavements ends.
“For about a year, the road will be rough for cyclists after we lay the 5⁄8-inch aggregate,” Fielding said. “It takes awhile for weather and traffic to smooth the aggregate. Using the 3⁄8-inch as a double-chip layer will make for a much better rising experience.”
The Frying Pan Road chip-seal project calls for adding 12 miles of chip seal, six culvert replacements, patching in eight to 12 areas and some minor overlay work. Chip seal takes aggregate and places it on top of asphalt sealer to rejuvenate and add to the integrity of the asphalt already in place.
Fielding hopes to see the chip-seal project begin by June and end in early August.
Aspen Business Center
After hearing concerns from several building and business owners at the Aspen Business Center, the county will add 10 or 11 new parallel parking spots on 400 Road to help alleviate the lack of parking for businesses near the southeast side of the complex.
The Aspen Business Center drainage, pedestrian-improvement and roadway-improvement project began in 2013 and is nearing completion. When Fielding updated commissioners on the project in April, they weren’t in complete agreement with the current parking plans at the business center and asked for alternate additional parking options.
300 Road already had been designed for two-way traffic, a public walkway and additional street parking. That parking wasn’t enough for some business owners, and Fielding said the additional parking on 400 Road will help.
“The 10 or 11 spots we’re adding will go a long way into alleviating most of the business owners’ concerns in that area,” Fielding said. “We’re also going to designate that there is no overnight parking with those new spots.”
Commissioner Rachel Richards suggested sending letters to the building owners around 400 Road with dual access to their lots and ask them if any would consider blocking one of their entrances to allow for more street parking while at the same time adding several additional parking spots to their own parking lots.
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Aspen High School girls soccer coach Chris Ellis could have told you the team would be facing a strong opponent in the first round of the state playoffs well before the bracket was released on Sunday. With only a 16-team field this spring, any squad that found itself among those few had to be solid.