Pitkin County’s efforts to pull antiquated infrastructure into the 21st century is scheduled to recommence next month with the overhaul of a translator site in Sky Mountain Park.
The $350,000 project, which goes before the county Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, will replace four towers that support over-the-air TV signals for Snowmass Village as well as FM radio services, said Jeff Krueger, the county’s communications site manager.
“It’s basically a site that was constructed probably 40 years ago,” he said. “It’s in very poor shape.”
A small building housing electronics is dilapidated and will be rebuilt with air conditioning to make it more suitable for such equipment. Concrete is to be poured for new, self-supported towers that can withstand the wind and other elements, Krueger said, adding the structures will be more wildlife-friendly. An antenna repeater to support public safety also is to be installed.
“We finally have the budget for it, and we’re very excited to have that rebuilt,” he said.
In early to mid-June, the public can expect to see a few more vehicles turning off the top of Jack Rabbit Hill on Owl Creek Road. The gated turnoff to access the site is above the Tom Blake Trail.
Krueger said he is expecting few impacts to the public during the five- to six-week construction period. Heavy trucks delivering steel and other infrastructure will be using a designated road, not mountain-bike trails in the popular Sky Mountain Park, and such traffic should be limited to the early morning and evening hours, he said.
This is the fourth of eight translator sites in the valley to get needed overhauls, a process that is part of the county’s Broadband Initiative. The overall effort will drop the number of sites to seven as the county plans to consolidate two translator locations on Red Mountain. That project may get underway in November.