Glenwood’s South Canyon trail connection on hold for now |

Glenwood’s South Canyon trail connection on hold for now

John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A 1.8-mile connection between two completed sections of the South Canyon trail may have to be done piecemeal, after a major state grant application was rejected.

The Lower Valley (LOVA) trail group had applied for a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) River Corridor Initiative grant earlier this year.

The $1.5 million GOCO grant proposal sought to match another $2.9 million in local funding commitments from Garfield County ($1.8 million), the city of Glenwood Springs ($600,000) and the town of New Castle ($3,000).

A federal Transportation Enhancement Grant for $442,000 was also obtained for the project.

But the GOCO request was denied, and LOVA spokesman Larry Dragon said at a Glenwood Springs City Council meeting last Thursday that he’s not optimistic a renewed effort would be successful, either.

Instead, the estimated $4.4 million “phase 3” of the project may need to be further split into smaller phases, Dragon said.

Two sections of trail have been completed in recent years, one running west from West Glenwood and another running east from South Canyon.

In between is a 1.8-mile segment that presents some engineering challenges because of the steep drop-off between Interstate 70 and the Colorado River.

Dragon said it’s possible that the engineer’s estimate of $4.4 million to build that segment could come in lower when it goes to bid. But, for now, that’s the number they’re working with.

The City Council recently voted 7-0 to keep its $600,000 commitment in the funding picture. That amount was to be paid in $200,000 increments over the next three years.

The city will also lend its support to LOVA’s effort to obtain a $200,000 grant from the state trails fund.

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