Wednesday, October 22, 2003
The paved portion of the Yampa River Core Trail is now about 500 feet longer.
The trail extension completes a two-year, $530,000, milelong extension from the Depot Art Center to the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge, Steamboat Springs Open Space and Trails Supervisor Mike Neumann said.
The 500-foot stretch cost about $35,000, including the price of easements, grading, concrete and railings along steep sections of bank along the Yampa River. The total expansion included similar costs, plus building a bridge across the Yampa River near the Stock Bridge Center.
Billy East Construction built the extension at about $70 per linear foot, a much better price than the expected $100 per linear foot, Neumann said.
The extension opened last week. Areas along the sides of the trail remain to be seeded. Though the paved trail extension stops shy of the James Brown Bridge behind Cook Chevrolet, a soft-surface trail continues about 400 feet to the bridge.
Ultimately, the city wants the Yampa River Core Trail to stretch from the Steamboat II subdivision to Haymaker Golf Course, Neumann said.
"What we've seemed to find with the trail is, if we build it, they will come," Neumann said.
Currently, the hard-surface Yampa River Core Trail extends to Walton Creek Road at its south end, and a soft-surface trail continues to Walton Pond Apartments.
Neumann said the trail is not simply for recreation; it also is an alternative transportation corridor, particularly for residents of condominium complexes in the Walton Creek Road area who ride their bikes into downtown for work. The Parks and Recreation Department keeps the trail plowed in the winter to keep the more environmentally friendly commute available, Neumann said.
The fact that the trail is used for alternative transportation helped to obtain grants, Neumann said, particularly with the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, which provides federal funds for alternative transportation efforts, and the Colorado Department of Transportation. The remaining funding came from Great Outdoors Colorado, the Land and Water Conservation fund, and the city matched about $130,000, Neumann said.
Almost all of the easements have been obtained to extend the trail to Haymaker, but that project is at least two years down the road, Neumann said.
"It's part of an overall master plan," Neumann said. "We hope it's a continually expanding program as the city continues to grow. The Stock Bridge Center is becoming a more popular place for people to park and walk to the trail, and we foresee more of that in the future."
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