Snowmass prepares for summer traffic detours |

Snowmass prepares for summer traffic detours

Two projects taken on by the town of Snowmass Village public works department will impact traffic throughout the summer.

The Brush Creek culvert project is expected to take place from June to November and will likely require a full road closure of Brush Creek during much of that time, according to the memo from the Feb. 6 Town Council meeting.

To prepare for the project, the Highline Road gas, fiber, and multi-modal project will begin this spring. The project is a partnership between Snowmass and Black Hills Energy to extend a secondary gas line to the village. The town also will be installing fiber conduit and widening Highline Road, which will have closed sections from April to May.

Town Manager Clint Kinney said the road-widening project will aid in the detour for road closures taking place from June to November.

The Brush Creek culvert project will fix the 72-inch culvert beneath the intersection of Brush Creek and Owl Creek roads that began to fail last summer. During the culvert project, they will also be replacing gas, electric, water, and sewer lines.

Fully closing the road rather than doing it one lane at a time would not allow the Nov. 1 deadline to be met, Director of Public Works Anne Martens said.

“It’s like JAS Aspen everyday,” said Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk on the traffic resulting from road closures.

Martens said locals will be able to get to the Sinclair Meadows trash enclosure but cannot continue up the last section of Brush Creek. The closures will be similar to last year’s plate-project closures and reroutes, and all traffic will be going on Owl Creek road.

Councilmembers questioned whether the culvert replacement needs to be done in the same year as the Highline Road project because projects tend to run late and over budget.

“If you don’t get done by Nov. 1, you’ve got a real mess,” said Councilman Tom Fridstein.

Kinney told the council that if any projects are running behind, changes will be made accordingly. However, the contractors for the projects were brought on early to make sure deliverable targets are met, Martens said.

“We think the ‘easiest’ solution is to get in there once for the utilities and the culvert project. Otherwise, it’s going to be closed for multiple months over multiple years,” Kinney said.

Though the traffic impacts may be frustrating for villagers, the projects have to take place no matter what, Martens said. The objective of doing the Highline Road project first is to create the best possible detour for the Brush Creek project.

“It’s one of those things where it’s going to be done, and we’re going to go ‘Okay, it’s so much better now,”’ Mayor Bill Madsen said.