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

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.

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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.

jstroud@postindependent.com