Pitkin County preparing to address four new road projects | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County preparing to address four new road projects

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

With almost 500 miles of county roads to maintain, it’s no surprise Pitkin County has a few repairs to take care of this year. During Tuesday’s Pitkin Board of County Commissioners work session, county engineer G.R. Fielding identified four new road projects and two carryover projects from last year that he hopes to see completed within the county in 2014.

The new projects include removing and replacing two concrete intersections located where Maroon Creek Road intersects with Prospector Road and Thunderbowl Lane at Aspen Highlands. The project calls for replacing the roadway concrete, sidewalks and improving the turning radius for buses in that area.

Pitkin County will partner with the Aspen Highlands metro district and the city of Aspen on the project. There is no start date yet for the project.

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.

The Frying Pan subsidence project is under investigation still for the best potential solution. The county is looking at a 450-foot section of upper Frying Pan Road toward the upvalley end of Ruedi Reservoir that is sinking slowly. Fielding said that he would come back to the commissioners by June with a staff recommendation for how to address the subsidence project.

The fourth new project is the Redstone north bridge rail replacement proposal. The bridge rail is constructed of natural wood timbers that have begun to rot. The project originally was slated for 2015, but weather caused more deterioration to the wood rails than expected. There are temporary wood rails in place, but the all the rails need to be replaced by crash-tested rails that will be compatible with the bridge. Fielding hopes to see the project completed sometime this fall.

“These are all projects we identified as the most pressing,” Fielding said. “I’m pretty confident we can complete them all this year.”

The two carryover projects from 2013 are the Aspen Business Center drainage, pedestrian improvement and roadway improvement project, and the airport pedestrian underpass project.

The 200 Road in the business center will be completed along with signing, striping and landscaping items that also need finishing. There’s also a drainage channel and minor trial work still on the agenda.

“We’re working on improving parking within the ABC,” Fielding said. “We need to get people to think differently about where they park their cars in the ABC and we’re moving in that direction. All in all, the ABC improvement project has been extremely successful so far.”

The commissioners weren’t in complete agreement with the current parking plans at the business center and will be scheduling a work session to discuss potential solutions.

The airport pedestrian underpass project has resumed after winter weather forced a break from activities since the end of December. Flatiron Construction will finish the landscaping, staining of the concrete, final grading and some minor roadway median replacements. Flatiron will have to work within the Colorado Department of Transportation rules that keep them from any lane closures during directional rush hour traffic times.

Fielding said he hopes Flatiron will be done by May 15 except for some minor landscaping work. He also said the 2014 engineering budget should cover the four new projects with $2 million in funds left from 2013 to complete the carryover projects.