MEDIA CONTACT: Kara Silbernagel - Project Manager - 970-471-8870
Electricians on the scene of the powerline that feeds electricity to Pitkin County’s Lower Red Mountain Translator tower have determined that there is no easy fix for the damaged line. In fact, officials agree that the entire half-mile-long powerline must be replaced in order to get Lower Red back online.
“The powerline is over 40 years old and has years of band-aid fixes that have contributed to its deterioration,” said Pitkin County Communications Manager, Jeff Krueger. “Multiple shorts have occurred in the wiring and we can’t determine the exact location of all of them. The only way we can restore power to Lower Red is to replace the entire length of powerline,” said Krueger.
Officials anticipate meeting with the Forest Service to determine requirements for conducting the replacement project on U.S.F.S. property. Adjacent homeowners in Starwood must also be consulted.
The outage is impacting TV stations that rely on the translator to rebroadcast “over-the-air” signals in mountainous terrain, including over-the-air network television in the Aspen area and GrassRoots and Community Government television (CGTV) valley-wide. The Aspen Skiing Company’s Power of Four cameras also remain off the air. Cable customers are not affected.
The solution to restoring over-the-air TV broadcasts is to relocate broadcasts that relied on Lower Red to the Jackrabbit tower above Snowmass Village. However, the current tower at Jack Rabbit is unable to support the weight of the TV antennas required to broadcast over-the-air.
“We have only been able to relocate the KSPN radio broadcast to Jackrabbit for now,” Krueger said. “The Jackrabbit tower is in the process of being redeveloped this summer and should be completed around Labor Day. That means we won’t be able to host GrassRoots and CGTV up there until the Jack Rabbit rebuild is completed” Krueger said.
Cable television and online radio and television service remain available in the translator outage area.