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A trail everyone wants

Dear Editor:Building a trail from Hooks Lane to Glenwood can be done for $5.86 million. This includes building the trail parallel to the railroad from Carbondale to Glenwood. This is within RFTA’s budget.According to RFTA, the cost of building on top of the railroad from Hooks Lane to Carbondale is $2.08 million. The scrap rail, not counted, is worth $560,000.The cost of the parallel trail section is $5.74 million. RFTA’s trail cost in open fields is $83 per foot for 42,100 feet. Assume this cost doubles for 13,500 feet around constrictions and wetlands. The trail and rail will share the bridges.Without further improvement the total trail cost is $7.82 million.The RFTA trail is “the ultimate!” It is 15 feet wide. The same quality product is obtained with an 8-foot trail, used in Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield counties’ rural areas. Building an 8-foot trail can be accomplished for 75 percent of the cost. The 8-foot trail cost will be $5.86 million.RFTA has budgeted $5.35 million for the trail. It has requested federal funding of $1 million in 2006. The $5.86 million trail can be easily handled within the RFTA budget. There will be money left over to accelerate trail development.Why build the parallel trail section? The controversy over the alignment ends and the trail can proceed; the rails remain to mark the preferred light-rail alignment and the $5 million operational railroad remains. Kip WheelerAspen


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