Crystal River trail section approved |

Crystal River trail section approved

The Pitkin County commissioners approved the construction of a four-mile stretch of a bike and pedestrian trail in the Crystal River Valley that will eventually link Carbondale and Crested Butte.As a result of the decision, Pitkin County signed on to an intergovernmental agreement that will divvy up the cost of the four miles with the town of Carbondale and Garfield County. The stretch runs from Snowmass Road to Thomas Creek along Highway 133.Under the agreement, Pitkin County will spend $10,000 while Carbondale and Garfield County will spend $5,000 each. The money will be used to hire a consultant to design the trail and secure development permits from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails director Dale Will said Pitkin County will assume the lion’s share of the funding because half of the four-mile stretch is on county land.”We didn’t want to have three different little projects. For the purpose of design and permitting it was better to pool our funds and do it as a single project,” Will said.The decision, made unanimously yesterday, had none of the controversy that has surrounded the proposed trail from Crested Butte to Carbondale since the trail’s inception. The placement of certain sections of the trail are under dispute. A lobby organization headed by commissioner candidate Tom McBrayer opposes the trail’s potential placement farther up the Crystal River Valley.”The section of the trail [approved today] stays strictly within the Highway 133 right of way. Some of the concerns about the trail farther up the river don’t come into play in this section,” Will said.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is

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