Upcoming Highway 82 paving to cause delays into Aspen | PostIndependent.com

Upcoming Highway 82 paving to cause delays into Aspen

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times
Signs placed on Highway 82 before the entrance to the town of Aspen warning drivers of upcoming potholes.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

Regular commuters to Aspen might want to think about taking a couple of vacation days toward the end of this month.

Colorado Department of Transportation crews will be in town repaving parts of Highway 82 on June 26 and 27, including the S-curves, said Justin Forman, senior project manager at the city of Aspen.

The portion of road from the Castle Creek Bridge to the first S-curve heading into town has gotten so bad, one Aspenite has taken it upon himself to warn motorists of the impending rough road. One of the signs exclaims: “Dear CDOT: Help!”

“We are expecting a West End detour for portions of Tuesday’s work,” he said. “I’m not sure what to expect with delays, but in the past we’ve seen 30 minutes to an hour.”

In a story about the growing pothole problem on Highway 82 in February, a CDOT spokesperson said the agency had no plans to repave or resurface Highway 82 in Aspen.

However, after meetings between CDOT officials and several city Aspen officials, CDOT recognized the need and identified money to use for the project, Forman said.

A message left Thursday for CDOT spokesperson Tracy Trulove seeking comment was not returned.

This month’s repaving will focus only on the in-bound or eastbound lane of Highway 82, Forman said. The plan is for the crews to put down a new layer of asphalt — called a “skin patch” — from the Castle Creek Bridge to the first S-curve, Forman said. Crews also will put a new layer of asphalt from just east of Cemetery Lane to the Castle Creek Bridge, he said.

Between that S-curve and somewhere around the Hickory House, CDOT crews will remove about the top 2 inches of existing asphalt and resurface the road, he said. That will occur only in the outside lane where most of the damage exists, Forman said.

In addition, crews will work on an area near Main and First streets near the Molly Gibson Lodge, and resurface that part of the road, probably up to or just past the former Main Street Bakery, he said.

Cars will be detoured down Cemetery Lane and Power Plant Road then through the West End during the repaving in that section, Forman said. Large trucks and buses cannot negotiate Power Plant Road, so those vehicles will be forced to wait to enter Aspen, he said.

Torre, who lost a Aspen City Council runoff election to Ward Hauenstein earlier this week, said he posted the signs Monday after hearing complaints from the public about the road during last week’s City Council meeting. The signs warn drivers of potholes and possible damage to vehicles.

“It occurred to me that thousands of dollars a day in damage is being done to cars,” Torre said Thursday, and added, “I’m glad to hear CDOT’s aware of it and is going to do something about it.”


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