Siegel: Need a new bridge |

Siegel: Need a new bridge

Mick Ireland’s column on traffic, votes and bridges continues the old trope, but we need a sensible traffic solution — not more ink stirring up class warfare. He also has a few important omissions. First, he refers to the straight shot as a “$90 million improvement.” He left off a “0.” The cost  was estimated at hundreds of millions 25 years ago and probably is closer to a billion dollars today.

Second, like many others, Ireland failed to consider all options. There is an acceptable solution. Specifically, referring to a 2004 analysis prepared for the city by Turner Collie & Braden, there is a suggestion for future study of widening Castle Creek bridge to three lanes, one being reversible (Appendix B, Section. 2.0, p.25). 

The recent improvements to the 8th Street section of 82 have now provided four lanes from the east of the bridge to the S-curves. There already exists space for four lanes west of the bridge to Cemetery Lane.

The report also discusses at length smoothing out the S-curves to provide better traffic flow. That bridge is going to be replaced by the state. A straight shot is exceptionally expensive and really not needed if the Castle Creek bridge can accommodate rush hour traffic. A reversible lane on a new Castle Creek bridge makes the most cost effective sense.

The city is going to engage the public and “educate” on the history of the entrance to Aspen. It should  provide the option of a third lane on a new Castle Creek bridge. To omit that solution would make any presentation incomplete and fatally flawed.

Neil B. Siegel


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