Second stretch of South Canyon bike trail opens | AspenTimes.com

Second stretch of South Canyon bike trail opens

Post Independent staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – In spite of cold, rainy weather, about 40 people turned out Friday morning to celebrate the opening of Phase 2 of the LoVa Trail through South Canyon, outside of Glenwood Springs.

“We often only think of trails as a way to walk or bike from one place to another,” said Bruce Christensen, former Glenwood mayor. “But one of the great benefits of trails is they are a profound way of connecting communities.”

Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, Glenwood Mayor Matt Steckler and Larry Dragon, executive director of the Lower Valley Trails Group (LoVa) officiated at the ribbon cutting.

The project has been a collaborative effort between LoVa, Garfield County, the city of Glenwood Springs, Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Parks. Garfield County served as the fiscal agent and county engineer Jeff Nelson was the project manager.

“It’s a great feeling of accomplishment getting this difficult section of trail completed,” said Nelson. “I really look forward to Phase 3, which will provide connection all the way to Glenwood.”

The Phase 2 section of trail is 2,000 feet long, running from near the South Canyon bridge west to the mouth of the canyon. The trail platform is about 12 feet wide, with an eight-foot width of pavement. It was built within the Interstate 70 right-of-way.

This stretch of the trail was designed and engineered by Schmueser Gordon Meyer and built by Heyl Construction.

Phase 1 of the trail was completed in 2009, running from West Glenwood into South Canyon. Between the Phase 1 and Phase 2 stretches is a 1.8-mile section that remains to be built. It will be the toughest stretch to build in the steep, narrow canyon.

When the South Canyon Trail is fully completed, it will provide a safe alternative for cyclists and pedestrians to travel between Glenwood Springs and New Castle.

Dragon said LoVa presently has funding commitments for close to $2 million, and he met with Jackie Miller of Great Outdoors Colorado after the ribbon-cutting to discuss the possibility of a matching grant. The goal is to have the Phase 3 stretch finished by 2014, he said.

The South Canyon Trail is part of the larger LoVa Trail, which will ultimately span 47 miles through the Colorado River Valley in Garfield County, from Glenwood Springs west to the Mesa County line.

For information, contact Dragon at ldragon@lovatrails.org or 379-9889.


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