Pitkin County prepares to pave
ASPEN – This could be the summer of paving in Pitkin County.
The season is shaping up to be a challenging one from a motorist’s perspective, though the end result will be an unprecedented number of newly resurfaced roadways in the upper Roaring Fork Valley.
In addition to $1.9 million in already-budgeted projects this year, county commissioners will be asked Tuesday to approve another $2.95 million in spending for an accelerated road-maintenance schedule that will include repaving the entire length of Castle Creek Road south of Aspen.
Doing the additional projects now would allow the county to take advantage of a “volume discount” by piggybacking on Highway 82 paving work that the Colorado Department of Transportation plans this summer.
“This would be a huge savings for Pitkin County,” said Brian Pettet, county public works director, in a prepared statement. “We would be able to accomplish much-anticipated road improvements this summer that we would otherwise have had to put off for another six years at a significantly higher cost.”
Using CDOT’s purchasing leverage for a volume discount, the county would be able to tackle more than 26 miles of paved roads this summer.
“Getting this amount of road-paving work completed in one year is unprecedented,” Pettet said.
Additional projects that could be accomplished this summer, along with paving the entire 12.5 miles of Castle Creek Road, include improving Willoughby Way, Sopris Creek Road and Emma Road. These projects will be added to improvements already budgeted in 2012, including asphalt overlays on Smith Hill Road near Woody Creek and Jack Gredig Lane, which serves the landfill.
“If we get approval, we will be completing more road-paving projects in Pitkin County this summer than we have done in the last seven years combined,” Pettet said.
In addition to the paving of county roads, CDOT will be milling and repaving about nine miles of Highway 82, including a 2.2-mile stretch in the Basalt area and 7.1 miles between Gerbazdale and the Baltic Avenue intersection at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport and the Aspen Business Center.
The county has indicated it will work closely with the planners of big special events, as well as other jurisdictions that could be affected, in an effort to minimize delays and inconvenience to the public during the paving operations.
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