Fierce winds closed down portions of all four mountains on Friday, at least preserving some snow because it couldn’t be skied.
The Aspen Skiing Co. also had to cancel its last “Moonlight Party” that was supposed to be held on Friday night at the Sundeck on top of Aspen Mountain due to high winds.
The gondola at Ajax was shut down, as was the Ruthies chair temporarily; Deep Temerity and Loge chairlifts at Highlands; Tiehack at Buttermilk and the upper lifts at Snowmass.
The Colorado Department of Transportation on Monday will begin work on upgrading traffic signals just west of Aspen and throughout downtown, which will likely cause some interruption to parking and commute time. The project is expected to be complete by May 28.
The project involves work at all of the signalized intersections between the Aspen airport and Galena Street, with the exception of the Cemetery Lane intersection. The work will consist of installing traffic signal loops, pedestrian push buttons, underground conduit, fiber optic cable and communications systems that will link the signals together for improved traffic management.
When completed, the traffic lights will communicate with each other, providing the optimal signal cycle times for real-time traffic in the corridor, according to CDOT officials.
The Cemetery Lane traffic signal will not be interconnected with the other signals because it lies between the roundabout and the S-curves in Aspen, which create too many variables in traffic flow. There are currently cameras at Cemetery Lane and CDOT may put detection loops in at the intersection in the future.
Almost all of the work has been completed at the intersections outside of town, reported Bill Crawford, CDOT project engineer. Work along the side of Highway 82 will be conducted this spring and will require closure of the shoulders around the intersections from the ABC to Truscott Place.
Conversely, almost none of the work has been accomplished at the signalized intersections in downtown Aspen.
“The goal is to have traffic be affected at only one intersection at a time,” Crawford said in a press release. “The work will begin at the Aspen Street intersection and then move progressively from signal to signal.”
Each intersection will be under construction for about a week as the contractor places the traffic signal loops and bores the conduit for the signals. No asphalt cuts should be necessary because the conduits will be placed with a boring machine, according to officials.
The project was contracted to W.L. Contractors of Arvada for $675,000.
Only shoulder closures are anticipated outside of Aspen. Some lane closures in downtown Aspen will be required to accomplish the work. Upvalley lanes will remain open with no traffic impacts until 9 a.m. each day. Downvalley lanes will not experience lane closures after 3:30 p.m. each day. Traffic may be impacted beyond those hours on weekends, however.
Short traffic stops may occur. People using the signalized intersections in the project area also may experience temporary lane closures or lane re-configurations as the project progresses. Traffic control will be in place at these areas to guide pedestrian and vehicle movements. Pedestrians should note that while there will be some work on sidewalks, business access will be open at all times.
Parking will be off limits on Main Street and the half-blocks of side streets when intersections are under construction. The city of Aspen will give a 72-hour notice of parking restrictions before work commences.
The Molly Gibson Lodge continues its collaboration with the Aspen Historical Society by hosting Native American dancers today and presenting an historic overview of the valley’s connection with the Ute Indians.
The dancers will perform a pow-wow style dance with traditional drumming today at 6 p.m. at The Molly Gibson Lodge.
Lisa Hancock, curator for the Aspen Historical Society, will give a presentation on the history of the Ute Indians in the Roaring Fork Valley following the dance. The public is invited to attend this free performance and presentation.
The Aspen Historical Society and the Molly Gibson Lodge have hosted a series of public presentations on Aspen’s history throughout the winter. Saturday’s dance is part of this series.
Hotel Aspen, sister property to the Molly Gibson Lodge, is hosting several of the dancers while they are in Aspen performing. Moontee Sinquah, one of the performers staying at Hotel Aspen and performing at the Molly, is a Hopi hoop dancer world champion.
The dancers will perform in downtown Aspen on Saturday, but the performance at the Molly is the only one that includes the presentation and a question-and-answer session with the Aspen Historical Society. The Aspen Ute Foundation, the city of Aspen and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies are co-sponsors in bringing the dancers to Aspen.