Silt celebrates the opening of new pedestrian trail
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.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
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.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Change in the field of law enforcement is happening. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario has seen it.