LoVa focuses on future
Ambitious plans in the works for trailBy Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO ColoradoGLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The future of an ambitious project to stretch a paved trail from Glenwood Springs to the Mesa County line is coming into sharper focus.The Lower Valley Trails Group is building the trail across most of Garfield County, and its leaders are currently looking to build another section of the trail, west of Glenwood Springs. One 650-foot section of the trail heading out of West Glenwood Springs toward South Canyon is already complete, but not yet open.Larry Dragon, executive director of LoVa, told Garfield County commissioners earlier this week that he has gone out with engineers to survey two possible routes for the next section of the LoVa trail. That part of the trail would go from the old South Canyon Bridge and would meander about one-third of a mile east toward Glenwood Springs. Dragon said his group is working with the kayak community to build a ramp there so kayakers can have better access to the river.LoVa plans to apply for a grant from the Colorado State Parks trails program to help pay for building that phase of the trail. It would be added to another grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation and contributions from Garfield County and the City of Glenwood Springs, according to a memo Dragon sent to area officials summarizing plans for the trail. It is hoped that developers of the trail could review bids for the second phase of the trail in 2009 and complete it in 2010. LoVa leaders hope that when Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) might have its next large grant cycle in 2011, they would be well-situated with GOCO to possibly complete the trail all the way from Glenwood Springs to at least South Canyon bridge, Dragon’s memo said.The first phase, which is a stretch of trail from Mitchell Creek in West Glenwood Springs and goes for about 650 feet, is almost open. All that is left is the building of a bridge over Mitchell Creek – a task the city of Glenwood Springs is carrying out. Completion of the bridge is expected to occur in October, Dragon told commissioners.Commissioners also agreed to transfer leftover county funds for the recently completed section of the LoVa trail to the next section of the LoVa trail phase. That amount was estimated to be about $150,000 to $250,000, Dragon said.
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