Town of Vail starts construction projects
VAIL — With the official end of ski season, the town of Vail started several construction projects on Monday.
The projects, which involve the Covered Bridge in Vail Village, a section of the Gore Valley Trail path and the Vail Village parking structure, will provide some much-needed repairs and upkeep, and will last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months, said town managers.
“These are important features of the town, and we want to take care of them,” said John King, the town of Vail’s facilities manager.
The major in-town projects include:
Covered Bridge closure
The most significant project will require the closure of the village’s iconic Covered Bridge while crews repair and maintain the steel girders that support the bridge. It has been 20 years since the bridge has had any major repairs, so the project, which is expected to take up to four weeks, is timely, said King.
“The basic problem is the steel girders under the bridge have began to rust, and we need to correct that,” said King. “We’ll pull the decking up, sandblast the girders, and we’ll also stain and repaint the bridge to spruce it up.”
Pedestrians wanting to access Bridge Street, will be rerouted the International Bridge on Willow Bridge Road. During construction, the town will also provide two golf carts and drivers from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily to assist pedestrians with the detour.
The town also warned boaters, rafters and kayakers to check the clearance under the bridge before launching to make sure that construction scaffolding doesn’t render the creek impassable. The project is expected to cost $50,000 to $60,000.
Village parking structure
The top deck of the Vail Village parking structure will be closed now through May 4 for structural repair. In addition to the eastern portion of the top deck, this closure includes the taxi and shuttle lanes on the north side of the Welcome Center, as well as the short-term parking area on the building’s east side.
As King explained, the concrete structure is supported by pieces called double tees, some of which have rusted and are suffering from regular wear and tear. Crews will work from underneath the top deck to do the repairs, so the topmost level will be closed for the safety of the workers.
The project is expected to cost $30,000.
The lower levels of the parking structure won’t be affected. Oversize vehicle parking will be redirected to the top deck of the Lionshead parking structure. The outlying and regional bus lanes on the west side of the Transportation Center will still be open for use.
Gore Valley Trail reroute
Major work on a 1,100-foot section of the Gore Valley Trail recreation path between Lionshead and West Meadow Drive, behind the Vail Public Library, is also underway.
“We’ve rebuilt sections of the trail as they became worn out through the years,” said town of Vail landscape architect Gregg Barrie. “This is regular maintenance, but this project ended up being bigger because there were a number of smaller projects that needed to be done there, and we decided to do them all at once.”
The common pedestrian and bike pathway will be rebuilt to replace eroding asphalt and will also be rerouted to avoid going through Lodge at Lionshead property, which the path currently crosses.
The new route will also require replacing an existing bridge and adding a new one due to the path realignment. The trail lighting, which hasn’t been upgraded for a few decades, will be replaced with new LED lights.
Also, the banks of the nearby Gore Greek will get some major work. Some of that bank was washed out in 2010 due to flooding, and since then, stream bank erosion has been decreasing the water quality of Gore Creek.
“When you have these eroded banks, it allows sediment and soil to get into the stream, and sediment loading isn’t good for fish habitat,” said Barrie. “Part of what we’ll do is try to repair the riparian buffer between the water and the bank. If we can stabilize the bank and get good vegetation growing, hopefully that will help create some new habitat wildlife.”
This work will last through July 16, with the trail open to the public on weekends beginning June 26. In the meantime, pedestrians and cyclists will be detoured onto East Lionshead Circle. The trail project is expected to total about $900,000. Visit http://www.vailgov.com for more information on these projects.
Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.