Those chimneys that are rising above the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority's newly constructed bus-rapid-transit stations aren't there for the reasons you might have guessed or hoped for.
In other words, leave the marshmallows in the cupboard, and remember to dress warm before running to catch the bus. The chimneys are simply a design element, according to a RFTA official.
"They're not chimneys. There is no fireplace. We refer to it as a stone icon, a design element that got incorporated into the building for a number of reasons," said Mike Hermes, bus-rapid-transit project director.
In all, 13 new stations will be constructed under the project. Six are under way now, and the work on seven more will start next spring. Locations include 27th Street in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, El Jebel, Willits, Basalt, the Brush Creek intercept lot, Buttermilk and the Aspen Business Center.
Planners from across the Roaring Fork Valley were involved in the design.
"We were trying to come up with a concept that worked from Glenwood Springs to Aspen," Hermes said. "Chimneys are kind of an iconic structure in a lot of homes and buildings throughout the valley."
The chimneys will house electronic and technology components at each station, he said.
"We needed something that would catch people's eyes, break up the lines of the building and give us a place for all of our (information technology) components," Hermes said.
Once completed, bus rapid transit will involve nine stops. Some locations will have stations on each side of Highway 82. Rubey Park will be the end of the bus-rapid-transit line, but a new station won't be built at the downtown Aspen bus transit center.
The bus-rapid-transit project is designed to make RFTA's operations and facilities faster, more convenient and more comfortable. For more information, visit www.rftabrt.com.