Construction crews worked Thursday on a future pond at the base of Steamboat Ski Area where Burgess Creek will flow beginning in June 2012. A corner of One Steamboat Place and The Dulany condominiums are visible in the photograph.

Photo by Tom Ross

Construction crews worked Thursday on a future pond at the base of Steamboat Ski Area where Burgess Creek will flow beginning in June 2012. A corner of One Steamboat Place and The Dulany condominiums are visible in the photograph.

Steamboat Ski Area promenade taking shape, but 6 weeks behind schedule

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Viewing promenade construction:

The most convenient place for the curious to glimpse what the newly daylighted Burgess Creek will look like is from an overlook adjacent to the Truffle Pig restaurant in One Steamboat Place.

— Construction on the public promenade at the base of Steamboat Ski Area is about six weeks behind schedule, but work is progressing to the point that passers-by can begin to visualize how the reconstructed Burgess Creek may look in June 2012 when the three-year project winds up.

“One of the most exciting things right now is at the south end of the promenade (opposite the Kids Vacation Club) where they are using heavy equipment to place giant pieces of sedimentary rock and fit them into the ledges,” Lyn Halliday said Thursday at the regular meeting of the Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee.

“When is the completion date?” URAAC member David Nagel asked city engineer Janet Hruby.

“We expect the promenade and the creek to be done by late fall,” Hruby said. “We might have a soft opening the day before the ski area opens. The project will be complete in June 2012 and we are planning a ribbon cutting July 4.”

Hruby said Derrick Duckels, of Duckels Construction, has gone to great lengths to adjust his construction timetable to accommodate private-sector projects that have been inspired this summer by the public investment in the base area.

“Derrick has done a great job of rescheduling and re-phasing his work. He was originally going to build the promenade from south to north but has had to break it into pieces to allow access to the other construction sites,” Hruby said.

URAAC makes recommendations about the new promenade and public gathering areas to the Steamboat Springs City Council, acting in its role as the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority. The public improvements at the base of the ski area are funded by property tax growth — most of which happened several years ago — which in turn backs a bond issue.

Hruby, who is overseeing the construction for the city, said it was understood in May that changes in plans would delay the work for two weeks. That’s when URACC and the council agreed to disrupt the construction schedule to help Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.’s plans to build a permanent performance stage at the edge of the promenade in Gondola Square.

URAAC entered into a reimbursement agreement with Ski Corp. to allow for the addition of a number of public bathroom stalls beneath the stage.

An unusually late snowmelt followed by the unusually early arrival of summer monsoon rains further complicated the construction timetable.

One of the goals of the public improvements at the base was to stimulate corresponding private-sector upgrades under the city’s base area design guidelines. That has happened with the Sheraton Steamboat Resort making significant investments where its building meets the edge of the ski slopes.

Similarly, the homeowners association of Torian Plum Plaza condominiums took the opportunity to make repairs to the roof of an underground parking lot and is re-making a large turf area directly above the garage to match the promenade with pavers and areas of grass.

Halliday told URAAC members that another construction highlight taking shape this month is near Torian Plum Plaza where the promenade climbs a small knoll. Already, a ramp and steel railing involving intricate welding have been installed, she said.

URAAC members spent much of Thursday prioritizing large and small additions to the project that could be made affordable by a cash windfall from the latest bond issue for the project. Hruby said lowered interest rates and good construction management have produced about $1.3 million in cash available for construction this year.

However, City Finance Director Deb Hinsvark has tentatively recommended holding back half of the total to protect the city’s position on the bonds.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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