CDOT

Your Evening News - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Snowmass Village Takes Public Comment on Council Replacement

The Town of Snowmass Village is taking public comment on its effort to fill a fifth town council seat. Voters last month elected Markey Butler as Snowmass Village mayor, so the council seat she previously held became available. On Monday, town council members interviewed eight citizens interested in filling the seat. Now it’s up to the community to narrow the pool before the council votes for a candidate on December 8th. Butler said in a statement the council is calling on the community to help identify which candidate is a good fit on council and a good representative for the community. The interviews with the eight candidates can be seen online at tosv.com. Feedback must be submitted to the town via email before Monday’s meeting.

Bad Flu Circulating in Colorado

Colorado’s health department is warning the flu season could be especially bad this winter. That’s because a certain strain has been showing up more often. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Employment says influenza A is more likely to send someone to the hospital and it’s been the culprit for most cases this year.

There’s been a bump in people getting sick from the strain at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In other years, Influenza A has caused more hospitalizations and deaths.

The Health Department is recommending signing up the flu vaccine to best avoid it, although officials also admit about half of the flu viruses showing up are not in this winter’s flu shot.

Elise Thatcher

The Colorado Department of Transportation has gotten a lot of attention for asking for money. The agency’s put in requests to local governments up and down the Roaring Fork Valley in recent weeks, all for raising funds to replace the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs. Although only Garfield County has fully committed chipping in a certain amount, the promise of some kind of help from Pitkin County, Glenwood Springs, and others has made a difference. CDOT recently checked in with the main funders of the project, and got the green light to keep moving ahead, in part because of that local support. CDOT Program Engineer Joe Elsen is leading the effort, and talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Ahead of the mid-term election in November, polls differ on who’s ahead in Colorado’s most contested races.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is asking local governments to help pay for Glenwood’s Grand Avenue bridge. Garfield County has agreed to contribute millions.

Colorado Mountain College administrators are turning their focus to what kids are learning before they walk in the door.

And, a new preschool program serving low-income kids is using lessons about the brain to encourage learning.

CDOT

A new Grand Avenue Bridge is one step closer to becoming a reality. Garfield County Commissioners have voted to contribute three million dollars towards the project -- the first big check from a local government. The support is becoming essential for the project-- and Commissioners were quick to say the Upper Roaring Fork Valley should also pitch in. 

Pitkin County

Pitkin County is being asked to help pay for a bridge in Glenwood Springs. The well worn and narrow Grand Avenue Bridge is ten years past its life expectancy… is getting unsafe to drive across and may not survive major erosion from the Colorado River. But, the cost of the project is going up, and now the Colorado Department of Transportation is asking nearby local governments to cover it. CDOT representatives made a formal plea to Pitkin County Commissioners at a meeting in Aspen on Tuesday.

Elise Thatcher

Replacing the Grand Avenue bridge in Glenwood Springs is at the top of the list for state highway projects next year. The state has allocated almost a hundred million dollars. As Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher reports as the project draws near, not everyone in Glenwood is happy about it.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

A judge has released hundreds of pages of court documents in the Nancy Pfister case. We’ll have a quick review.

The sheriffs are in town-- for a statewide conference. This is a chance for Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo to show off his work in Aspen.

Officials and local representatives are tackling how to get faster internet access in rural areas.

Aspen wants to get more people to build hotel rooms...

And, Garfield County may have to help pay for some improvements near Glenwood’s Grand Avenue Bridge.

An Aspen nonprofit is heralding the cancelation of a mega dam project in Chile.

And a hydropower plant in southwest Colorado is now officially up and running… we’ll hear what that means for the Aspen.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Tsiouvaras Simmons Holderness

Paying for big construction projects gets really expensive really quickly. So the Colorado Department of Transportation often has a limited amount to spend on new roads or interchanges. But as planning for the new Grand Bridge in Glenwood Springs continues, lots of related improvements are creeping in, and CDOT can’t necessarily pay for all of them. Joe Elsen is the agency’s lead engineer on project. He recently spoke with APR’s Elise Thatcher, and says Garfield County may have to pitch in.

CDOT/DHM Design

Heavy duty construction begins on Highway 133 in Carbondale today, Tuesday May 29th. The plan is to widen the road in certain spots and put a roundabout in at the intersection with Main Street. Everything is supposed to wrap up before next year, and a Carbondale business group hopes it won’t spell trouble for local establishments.

Federal Highway Administration

Construction kicks off Monday on a project to create cell phone service through Glenwood Canyon. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Right now, drivers on Interstate 70 through the Canyon can’t use their phones and there’s limited emergency communication.

That will change once four towers are erected at rest areas along the 13 mile stretch. Marti Whitmore is an attorney for Canyon Summits, the group behind the project. She says cell service at busy tourist spots like Hanging Lake will help in emergencies.