Colorado Department of Transportation officials plan to build a temporary wooden boardwalk within the next couple of weeks that will serve to reopen the middle section of the Glenwood Canyon bike path for the remainder of the summer.
“We do hope to have that section open again by the end of July,” CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said Friday of plans to construct wood decking in sections where the concrete path was dislodged and bridge structures compromised during high spring runoff in May and June.
“The point is to get us through September at least, after which our crews can go back in to do the permanent repairs,” she added.
As is common during the spring runoff in the Colorado River, which parallels the bike path, CDOT closed the 12-mile-long trail from the No Name Rest Area east through Glenwood Canyon in May.
The section from No Name to Grizzly Creek and the eastern portion from the Dotsero trailhead to Hanging Lake were reopened in late June. However, the four-mile section between Grizzly Creek and Hanging Lake has remained closed due to the damage.
The canyon bike path is a huge tourist draw during the summer and big business for bike rental companies in Glenwood Springs, and is a popular destination for road cyclists and mountain bikers who like to pedal the entire stretch of Glenwood Canyon.
“This is something we were not able to do in 2011,” Trulove said of the last lengthy summertime closure of the path due to damage from floodwaters. “If we can have something temporary in place for a couple of months to get through the tourist season, that will be a big help.”
Trulove added that, even after the river levels receded in late June, it still took crews a while to be able to assess the damage and come up with a plan.
The cost for both the temporary fix and the permanent repairs is expected to be about $400,000, compared with the $1 million in repairs necessary after the 2011 flooding, she said.
“It is something that can be done internally with our specialty crews, so that helps to keep costs down,” Trulove said.