A trail that fits the budget | AspenTimes.com

A trail that fits the budget

Dear Editor:RFTA estimates the Rio Grande Trail will cost $8.5 million. They don’t have the money budgeted. By their admission, at $8.5 million the chances are marginal for completing the trail by 2010. The trail is “the ultimate!” It’s a 15-foot-wide platform with a paved, multi-user, high-use trail permitting three people abreast and a separate gravel footpath for joggers. Why build a 15-foot trail? The trail will run 18 miles through rural country with minimal population. Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are satisfied with their 8-foot rural trails.Mick Ireland, a Pitkin County commissioner, was shocked when he heard of the planned 15-foot width. He is an avid trail rider and has encountered no problems on 8-foot trails in his many years biking with the usual mix of users. He questioned the propriety of the additional cost.An 8-foot trail would cost $6.38 million. It can be built for 75 percent of cost the 15-foot trail. Even if costs a bit more, the savings is significant. RFTA has budgeted $5.35 million and requested federal funding of $1 million for the trail. The $6.38 million 8-foot trail fits the budget. And, fitting the budget assures us the trail can be completed by 2010.It’s irresponsible to spend $8.5 million on a 15-foot trail when the same product is obtained with an 8-foot trail for $2.1 million less and is affordable.Kip WheelerAspen

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User