Roaring Fork Valley briefs: Basalt meet-and-greet; Aspen intersection facelift

Meet-and-greet for Basalt planner finalists

Basalt residents and interested members of the midvalley are invited to meet the finalists for the town of Basalt’s planning director position at a meeting Tuesday.

The finalists will be available for a meet-and-greet starting at 5 p.m. at the Basalt Library. According to Basalt town manager Ryan Mahoney, the finalists are Michelle Bonfils Thibeault, land use planner II for the city of Aspen; Jennifer Simmons Bertron, planning director in Frederick, Colorado; and Brian McNellis, senior planner at the town of Snowmass Village.

Basalt town government has an opening after Susan Philp’s retirement on Feb. 4. She was with the planning department for 24 years and the planning director for about 22.

The position was advertised nationally.

Downtown Aspen intersection change starts next week

The Spring Street and Cooper Avenue Intersection improvement project in downtown Aspen will start April 4 and is scheduled to run through May 20.

The project, which is in the intersection near the City Market parking lot, will come in five phases. A four-way stop, curb extensions, ADA-approved sidewalks and ramps, stormwater improvements, and painted crosswalks will be among the new permanent features.

“It will be an impactful job in an area that is quite busy, but that’s why the work is being done in April and May,” Jack Danneberg, project manager for Aspen’s Engineering Department, said in a news release. “Phasing the project should alleviate some of the headaches while ensuring critical improvements are made downtown within a short work schedule of just six weeks.”

The Spring and Cooper intersection was identified as the second-most accident-prone location downtown in a 2019 study and subsequently targeted for safety improvements in the Aspen Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan, which outlines the community’s desire to create a pedestrian and bike-friendly town. The project’s goals are to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety by increasing visibility and reducing pedestrian exposure time in the crosswalk.