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CDOT and the FHWA determined that the Preferred Alternative met the project need, intent, and 10 objectives.
Increases future transit options like trackless trams or driverless buses.
Provides better emergency access and evacuation routes.
Reduces accident rates on the S-Curves.
Increases transit capacity while decreasing transit time with continuous bus lanes from the roundabout to downtown.
Eliminates the S-Curves so traffic will move more smoothly without the two, ninety-degree turns.
Creates direct access in and out of town due to a straighter alignment.
Creates an open space corridor connecting Marolt-Thomas Open Space to the Aspen Golf Course.
Creates a trail connection from the Marolt Bridge to the golf course that is uninterrupted by roadways.
Decreases traffic and congestion in the West End and Cemetery Lane neighborhoods.
The Preferred Alternative is the approved option; it is not a silver bullet.
Travel times for general-use vehicles will improve by a couple of minutes, but will not solve the traffic or congestion problems.
The Preferred Alternative will increase travel times from Cemetery Lane to the hospital, Aspen schools, and Aspen Highlands.
The Preferred Alternative requires the existing Castle Creek Bridge to be repaired and eventually replaced to provide traffic access to Cemetery Lane and McLain Flats. It will also serve as a second exit from town.
The Preferred Alternative was intended as a phased approach. Elements that have been completed as of 2022 include:
The next phase of the Preferred Alternative is the Highway 82 realignment and a new Castle Creek Bridge.