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Posted on: May 18, 2023

Rio Grande Park Ponds Temporarily Closed

Sign of closed Rio Grande Park Ponds


Rio Grande Park Ponds Temporarily Closed


Aspen, Colo. – May 18, 2023 – An overspray of asphalt tackifier at the Spring and Cooper paving project has led to restricted access in the ponds at Rio Grande Park and John Denver Sanctuary. The tackifier was washed into the City’s stormwater system yesterday afternoon during routine installation of pavement. City of Aspen Engineering, Streets, Water and Parks departments responded immediately to stop movement of the product and prevent it from reaching the Roaring Fork River.

Spill kits and absorbent socks have been implemented to contain the product within the ponds. A vacuum truck has removed any remaining material in the stormwater inlets. The Aspen Fire Department has also provided additional oil absorbing socks and booms. Although it is estimated that less than five pounds of the asphalt tackifier was released, the product may be hazardous to health, should not be ingested, and could cause skin irritation. The city is working with Ecos Environmental for remediation of this spill.

While this product has impacted the Rio Grande Park ponds, is not believed to have reached the river. The purpose of these ponds is to protect the river from urban pollutants and has been successful. The City is working quickly and diligently to mitigate any impacts on the vegetation, wildlife and aquatic life that rely upon these ponds, and will open the ponds to the public and pets when safe to do so.

Contacts: April Long, Clean River Program Manager, or 970-920-5080

Emily Ford, Communications Coordinator, or 970-379-9373


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