Snowmass roundabout getting a new look
Construction of a mountable curb around the roundabout at Brush Creek and Highline roads is now scheduled to start in mid-September.
The Snowmass Village Town Council on Monday approved the final design and starting date for the roundabout work, which will install a 3-inch mountable curb where a red concrete apron is currently. By having Public Works employees do most of the labor rather than a contractor, interim Public Works Director John Baker estimated that the town would save about half of the budgeted cost of the project.
The new curb will look similar to the roundabout at Willits Lane and East Valley Road in Basalt, with a red-brick stamping on the concrete. The purpose of the curb is to slow down traffic passing through the roundabout but still allow trucks and other wide vehicles to get through. Yellow speed bumps used to exist on the apron to discourage drivers from cutting straight through.
Baker said the concrete will be sealed for aesthetics and to protect it from salt in the winter. Using a darker color and sealing it also will make the curb stand out better, he said. Construction will start the week of Sept. 16 in order not to disrupt the Wine Festival, the Balloon Festival and Ferrari Fall Foliage Tour, all happening the weekend before.
“We’re basically looking at contractors right now,” Baker said. “We might push it and wait till the 16th after Ferrari leaves, just for aesthetics for the balloon fest and everything else, and then move in with our contractor later that week.”
A 6-inch vertical curb and gutter will protect the center landscaping, according to a memo from Baker to the council. The initial estimated cost for the project was $85,850, but by having the town’s Road Division handle most of the work rather than a contractor, the town could save $26,000, the memo said.
“We’re hoping to save quite a bit more than Lee recommended even in here,” Baker told the officials. “Basically all we’re doing is hiring a concrete contractor, and we’ll do everything else to save costs. … We’re hoping to come in, I’m hoping, close to half of most of what we budgeted.”
That work includes demolition of the existing curb and apron, pavement removal, traffic control, erosion control and replacing the landscaping, signs and delineators.
Baker estimated that the project will be completed by Oct. 1.
Mayor Bill Boineau said he’d heard from a constituent who thought it wasn’t necessary to perform any work on the roundabout. The reconstruction of the roundabout was approved by the council in June.
“We’re just looking to improve this one for safety and for bicycles and get those yellow bumps out of there, which they’re out of there now, and people aren’t cutting it, but they’re used to them being there,” Baker said. “They’ll get back to going straight again soon.”
“I applaud your work and applaud the will to be able to get all this done and pulled out and save us some money,” Councilwoman Markey Butler said. “The red does make sense to me.”
The concrete material selected will be used in future median designs and aprons at proposed roundabouts at Wood and Brush Creek roads and Owl Creek and Brush Creek roads. Councilman Jason Haber said he didn’t like the proposed red color.
“I don’t like the look of it … if we’re talking about a standard for how we’re going to approach two future roundabouts, as well,” Haber said. “I think this looks very urban and very blah. I’d like to see other options. I don’t know what that does from a budget standpoint.”
Baker responded that stamping concrete was the best approach for a project such as this. In the end, the council approved the design presented.
Nearly three years after Aspen City Council cleared the founder of Jazz Aspen Snowmass to launch a jazz performance and education center downtown, Jim Horowitz said he expects the project will get rolling before the year is over.
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