Roundabout will look a lot nicer by July 1 |

Roundabout will look a lot nicer by July 1

Aspen Times Staff Report

It won’t be too much longer before trees and pedestrian bridges make the Maroon Creek Road roundabout a more inviting place.

Much of the landscaping for the roundabout area, including the traffic circle’s centerpiece, is on schedule for a July first completion. And whatever’s not done by July 1 will be finished by Oct. 1.

Everything in the original landscaping contract will be completed by the earlier deadline, but there have been some changes which will take a little longer, according to Jeff Woods, Aspen parks director.

Landscaping around the two planned pedestrian bridges will have to wait until the structures are in place, and work on the bridges can’t start until Pitkin County gives its final approval.

Some concern has been raised about the visual impact of the pedestrian overpasses, which will span Maroon Creek and Castle Creek roads. Poles have been placed at the sites to mark the height of the bridges, but the poles alone don’t provide an accurate sense of how the bridges will look, Woods said.

“The problem with the story poles is that they give just the stark vertical. There will actually be a very gentle slope to them,” said Woods, who has neighborhood support from the Maroon Creek Caucus and the Aspen Chapel for the overpass design.

Chapel representatives were initially concerned about the visual impact, Woods said, but the material to be used for the bridges will be of the same type of stone and wood as the chapel, and the structures should blend in nicely.

The bridges will be 60 feet long and will be erected in the one evening, Woods said. The county Open Space and Trails program is putting up $200,000 for the bridges, landscaping and trail connections.

“The overpasses are really what will make the trail system both accessible and functional,” said Woods.

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