Silt celebrates the opening of new pedestrian trail |

Silt celebrates the opening of new pedestrian trail

Ryan Hoffman
Officials with the town of Silt and Garfield County cut a ribbon celebrating the opening of the new Silt pedestrian trail Friday.
Ryan Hoffman / Citizen Telegram |

SILT — Officials cut a ribbon Friday to mark the opening of a pedestrian trail running under Interstate 70.

The project, which was funded by Garfield County, provides safe pedestrian access between north and south Silt, which is bisected by the interstate. The improvements include a newly paved surface, lights and a gate that farmers can raise for agricultural purposes.

The 16th Street underpass historically has served as a cattle passage.

Following the ribbon cutting, Mayor Rick Aluise noted the contributions from Garfield County — commissioners approved $282,452 in funding for the project in July 2015 — and the land owner, Roy Mcpherson, who granted the necessary easements.

“This would not have happened without Garfield County and Roy Mcpherson,” Aluise said.

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The idea of improving the underpass for pedestrian use date back to 2003 as part of the Lower Valley Trails Group plans.

Safe passage across I-70 became more important following construction of the Holiday Inn Express on River Frontage Road in 2009. More pedestrians were seen using the overpass to access the central business district north of the interstate.

The increased foot traffic became a concern because the overpass is narrow and not meant for pedestrian travel.

The Department of Local Affairs awarded Silt a grant in 2013 to do a feasibility study on constructing a standalone pedestrian bridge east of the overpass. However, the $2.2 million price tag projected in the study pushed the project out of immediate reach.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky then approached the town in 2015 and asked if it had a shovel-ready project.

The underpass almost immediately came to mind, said Pamela Woods, town administrator. Woods said that the project was completed within budget.

Minutes after the ribbon cutting Friday, Robert Dolan, a Peach Valley resident, rolled through the trail on his bike. As a longtime area resident, Dolan said the trail is something that has been needed for quite some time.

“It’s a fantastic trail and my hat is off to the county,” he said Friday.

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