Garfield County commissioners agree to help fund Silt trail |

Garfield County commissioners agree to help fund Silt trail

A plan to open an existing vehicle underpass beneath Interstate 70 at 16th Street in Silt to pedestrians earned some financial support from the Garfield County commissioners Monday.

Silt Mayor Rick Aluise informed the commissioners that the town has been looking for ways to provide pedestrian access from the main part of town north of I-70 across the interstate to the Frontage Road and Divide Creek Road area.

Given the increase in foot traffic to the town’s Riverbend Park across the Colorado River on Divide Creek Road, the Holiday Inn Express and other amenities south of the interstate, plus the planned Divide Creek Center commercial and residential development, it has become a safety concern, Aluise said.

The town used a grant to do a feasibility study for a pedestrian overpass at the main Silt interchange. But at an estimated cost of $2.2 million, the project is not likely to be completed soon, he said.

In the meantime, the town has proposed placing an electronic gate on either side of the existing 16th Street underpass to allow pedestrians to pass through. The gate would halt vehicle traffic while pedestrians are present.

A paved foot trail would then be built along the north side of the frontage road to Divide Creek Road, where a sidewalk already is in place across the river. Lighting and drainage improvements would also be added as part of the project.

County commissioners agreed to use $282,452 from the county’s conservation trust fund to move the project forward.

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