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Apron skirts new roundabout

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Folks have been wondering about the dark-gray surface area between the center of the new roundabout at Highway 133 and Main Street and the single-lane roadway that circles it. According to CDOT, here’s the deal. The area between the traffic lane and center is the “apron,” whose purpose is to allow longer-wheel-based vehicles, such as trucks and buses, to negotiate the roundabout by rolling over the small curb that separates it from the driving lane. The apron is not intended for use by vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles.

In related news, the 20-foot-tall James Surls sculpture “Sewing the Future” will be installed in the center of the roundabout on Nov. 20, according to a press release.

“May the adornment of ‘Sewing the Future’ in the revitalized gateway to our downtown continue to provoke thought, inspire creativity and serve as a symbol of Carbondale’s unique qualities that make it a truly great place to be,” said Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot.

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Local philanthropist Jim Calaway first proposed adding a Surls sculpture to the roundabout; Carbondale Public Arts Commission member Sue Edelstein presented the idea to the town trustees in 2013, which they unanimously approved.

The $200,000 bronze-and-steel sculpture was funded by a lead gift of $100,000 from Jim and Connie Calaway. Other donors included Edlestein and Bill Spence, Sara Ransford, Timbers Resorts, Sue Anschutz Rogers, Alpine Bank, Susan and Larry Marx, Larry Cohen, First Bank and others. “To date, the funds have been fully raised from community members throughout the Roaring Fork Valley,” said the press release.

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Surls is a Texas native and Missouri Heights resident whose work has been shown around the world. A public dedication is slated for June 5 with CPAC’s 2015 Art aRound Town unveiling. “This sculpture heralds the entrance to the Carbondale Creative District,” said CCAH Director Amy Kimberly.

— Photo by Lynn Burton

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