Glenwood council to consider first phase of disputed trail |

Glenwood council to consider first phase of disputed trail

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The Glenwood Springs City Council will consider tonight whether to construct a first phase of the disputed Atkinson Canal Trail.

City staff recommends constructing the south end of the trail from near the Mountain Market on Threemile Creek to the Cardiff Bridge for about $800,000. The segment would initially use a softer surface of road base along the west side of the Roaring Fork River. It’s envisioned to eventually reach the Sunlight Bridge for a total of about $4.4 million. It would be paved with concrete ten feet wide.

Community development director Andrew McGregor said the city has about 85 percent of the easements needed to construct the trail, and is still negotiating with about six property owners.

“We have productive negotiations going on with most of those property owners,” he said.

The city wants to negotiate for the remaining easements rather than resorting to condemning the land.

Attorneys representing both supporters and critics of the trail in the past threatened to sue the city if it proceeds, or if it doesn’t. Supporters said the City Council has no legal authority to deviate from the trail’s location because votes approved public funding for the trail to build out the city’s river corridor plan. Critics contend a concrete bike trail would harm wildlife habitat, invade their privacy and cause problems like littering and vagrancy. They maintain that easements behind homes on Hager Lane do not allow for a bike corridor.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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