Phase 2 of South Canyon Trail Begins

RIFLE, CO — The Lower Valley Trails Group (LoVa) and Garfield County are delighted to announce the beginning of construction on the 2nd phase of the South Canyon Trail.

“This is the 2nd phase of a multi-phase project toward constructing the section of trail through South Canyon, which is, by far, the most difficult and expensive section of what will be the LoVa Trail,” LoVa Executive Director Larry Dragon stated. “And,” Dragon continued, “it is the most urgent section, as it will provide the only alternative route west from Glenwood Springs. We are hopeful that the community will join together to help us develop the large funds needed to complete this critical section of trail.”

LoVa is a local non-profit, established in 1999, with the mission of creating a non-motorized trail within the Colorado River corridor through western Garfield County, and to pursue stewardship of the River Valley as a continuous scenic and natural resource.

This section of trail begins at the old South Canyon Bridge, near I-70 Exit 111, about 2.5 miles west of Glenwood Springs. It will run to the east, just south of the east-bound I-70 guard rail over-looking the Colorado River, for about 1,850 feet. The trail was designed by Schmueser, Gordon, Meyer (SGM, Inc.) of Glenwood Springs, will be built by Heyl Civil Construction of New Castle at a cost of approximately $690,000. The anticipated completion date is November 15, 2010. This section of trail is located entirely within the I-70 right-of-way.

This is a particularly popular section of the river for fishing and kayaking; this project will provide safer and more convenient access to the river. Additionally, a paved parking area by the old bridge near the trail-head will be constructed.

The funding of this multi-jurisdictional project has been a collaborative effort between LoVa, Garfield County, the City of Glenwood Springs, CDOT, and the Colorado State Parks Trails Program. The County, in addition to providing a great deal of financial support, is the Local Agency (necessary for receiving federal funds) and project manager for the project, and has contributed an enormous amount of staff support. The City contributed $100,000 toward the trail construction. CDOT awarded the County a transportation enhancement grant, and the State Parks Trails Program awarded a grant for $200,000 toward the project.

The project partners are particularly hopeful that the public funds committed for this type of project will aide in preserving the character of the County, improve the recreational amenities for locals and tourists, and add to the tourist-based economy so important to the region. To complete the trail connection between South Canyon and Glenwood Springs will require much more in the way of public funds, and may require more than one additional construction phase in the next few years.

For more information visit LoVa Trails.

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