New Castle progressing on to-do list
NEW CASTLE — The town’s new pedestrian bridge and trail now have names and the bridge will be ready for crossing by the middle of November, according to Mark Gould, president of Gould Construction, the contractor on the project.
The new bridge has been named “Flat Tops Bridge” after the area’s most prominent geological feature that “brings recreational, economic and aesthetic qualities to the town.”
The trail name is “Talbott Trail,” honoring the “faith, dedication and significant contributions of the Talbott family to the New Castle Community.”
The placing of the final section of the New Castle pedestrian bridge Thursday afternoon over the Colorado River marks just another accomplishment achieved over the last year.
The bridge will allow pedestrian access from the south side of the river to the north side of town. Concrete from SM2 is expected to be poured next week and cured by mid-November, when the bridge will be accessible and a ribbon-cutting ceremony held to celebrate its opening.
The Talbott Trail will run from the Apple Tree residential neighborhood and Mountain Shadows subdivision and connect to the bridge, allowing residents safe access along County Road 335 and across the river.
Gould Construction was the contractor on the project and PSI provided the crane services. Schmueser Gordon Meyer did the engineering on the project.
An official grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony with town officials is yet to be determined, according to Town Administrator Tom Baker.
In keeping with efforts to make the town more pedestrian-friendly, another trail, the Jolley Trail, was recently constructed. The two-thirds of a mile trail runs from Main Street on the west end of town to City Market and was built in conjunction with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers. The trail will now allow pedestrians and cyclists a safe way to travel east and west across town.
The bridge and trails are just a few of the accomplishments the town has achieved over the last year.
The town of New Castle website was also revamped over the summer, making it more user-friendly and providing useful information to both residents and visitors, including government news, information about businesses, things to do around New Castle and demographics about the community.
At a recent workshop, town council members met to discuss what they had accomplished over the year and set goals for the upcoming year.
“Every fall we do a strategic planning workshop and we look at what we’ve accomplished and our long-term goals are for the future,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Leland.
Long-term goals include extending the Jolley Trail to the Lakota Canyon Ranch subdivision and eventually the entrance of C Avenue and Mount Medaris Trail.
“But there’s some private property there, so we’ll need to negotiate a right-of-way,” Leland said. “But it will allow people to really go from one end of town to the other.”
The town also plans to try to get more parking spaces downtown along the streets, but because Main Street is also Highway 6, it must get approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“We’ve come up with a slightly different configuration than in the past, so hopefully they’ll approve it,” Leland said. “We need the parking with all the new restaurants in town.”
The town would also like to continue streetscaping on Main Street intersections with flower gardens and old-fashioned street lamps.
“We’re committed to seeking funds to continue the streetscaping,” Leland said.
A second senior housing project is also a future goal. The planned site would be at the Lakota Canyon Ranch subdivision on the south side of Castle Valley Boulevard.
“There’s a waiting list for senior housing,” Leland said. “All of the senior housing in (Garfield) county has a waiting list.”
The town also wants to move forward with moving the Police Department from the second floor of Town Hall to the town’s public works building on West Main Street, across from Elk Creek Elementary School in 2015.
“It will give them twice the space and then we’ll remodel the upstairs,” Leland said.
And finally, the council wants to push ahead with plans to build a sports park in the Lakota Ranch subdivision, across from the recreation center, with tennis, volleyball and pickle ball courts as well as a playground.
“But we’re still trying to come up with funding from GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) for that,” Leland said. “But those are the major things that we want to move ahead on.”
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