Glenwood trail project ready to roll |

Glenwood trail project ready to roll

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Residents of the south Glenwood area will finally get a foot and bicycle trail connection into the main part of town.

Glenwood Springs City Council, at its July 15 meeting, voted 6-0 to accept a $2.3 million bid from Gould Construction to build the Atkinson Canal trail along the east bank of the Roaring Fork River from the old Cardiff Bridge to the Sunlight Bridge (27th Street).

The trail link has been part of the city’s river trails master plan for several years. A soft trail was already completed last year from Midland Avenue along the west bank of the river behind the Mountain Market to the Cardiff Bridge.

That trail will be eventually be paved, and the new trail link built and paved as well. Council decided to go to the extra $81,000 expense to use a “buff-colored” concrete trail surface so that it’s more visually appealing as it makes its way along the river bank.

The new trail will provide a link for pedestrians and bicyclists making their way from the Glenwood Park, Park East/Park West, and Cardiff Glen neighborhoods, as well as from the Four the Three Mile creek areas, thus avoiding Midland Avenue.

The city has nearly $1.4 million in dedicated trail funds to put toward the project. So, the project will require a commitment of 2011 funds as well.

“A worst-case scenario would require the city to draw about $1 million from other sources to complete the trail,” according to a memo from City Manager Jeff Hecksel, adding that other funds that could be tapped include landfill proceeds and the capital projects fund.

“The most likely scenario will require the city to draw $250,000 to $500,000 from other sources to fund the project through completion,” he said. However, that will affect the ability of the city to fund other projects in 2011 and 2012.

Mayor Bruce Christensen noted that the trails fund had been tapped in the past for projects that weren’t part of the city’s trails master plan, including the pedestrian underpass to the Community Center and Glenwood Meadows.

“Previous city councils were generous in using trails money for projects that weren’t in the plan,” he said. “There would be well over a million more dollars in the fund today if we hadn’t done that.”

The new trail will proceed north along the river from the Cardiff Bridge, pass underneath the Sunlight Bridge, and then will ascend up to 27th Street. From there, trail users can make their way to either the Roaring Fork (Rio Grande) Trail or the trail following Midland Avenue to the north.

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