Entrance to Aspen construction begins
Today begins the monthslong detour into and out of Aspen as crews tear apart the Castle Creek Bridge to make improvements to the corridor.
Motorists can expect significant delays during peak times — 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Officials with the city of Aspen are urging commuters to adjust their travel times to avoid massive traffic backups, or take the bus from the Brush Creek Intercept Lot and carpool.
Through Sunday, outbound traffic will be redirected through the West End neighborhood and down Power Plant Road. Inbound traffic will go over the bridge and continue on Hallam Street through the S-curves, although there will be periodic holds to let RFTA buses through.
All buses, emergency vehicles and large trucks that cannot negotiate Power Plant Road will travel over the bridge throughout the project, which has four phases and will last through October.
The first phase runs today through Friday, and the detours and traffic delays will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and some Saturdays. The second phase runs from April 9 to May 6 when traffic patterns in and out of town become a bit more complex: Outbound traffic — cars traveling west — will turn right onto Fifth Street from Main Street and then left on Hallam Street. Inbound traffic will avoid the S-curves and instead travel straight onto Hallam Street, where it is currently closed off to cars with bollards.
Flaggers will be stationed along the detour routes, guiding motorists in and out of town during all four phases of the project.
The $4.65 million project includes at 8-foot-wide sidewalk over the bridge to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, along with improved bus shelters and intersections at Seventh and Eighth streets.
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RFTA is offering its 385 employees a $500 bonus to get the COVIDS-19 vaccine. So far, only about 60 percent have got their shot or shots.