Steamboat Springs City Open Space Supervisor Craig Robinson is looking for an aggressive contractor to build the newest extension of the Yampa River Core Trail, while hoping for the benign November construction weather Steamboat Springs saw in 2007 and 2008.
The city is advertising for bids to build 3,200 linear feet of 10-foot-wide concrete trail and 500 feet of soft-surface trail, much of it running along the Yampa River on Steamboat's south side.
"In a perfect world, we'd be pouring concrete even this fall," Robinson said. "I wouldn't be surprised if that happens. But it will depend upon the contractor's plan of attack and the weather. We're shooting to have it done by the beginning of June next year."
The urgency behind the completion date is because of the need to meet the terms of a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.
There was hope of beginning the construction in the heart of summer, but the project had to wait until a second grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation came through, Robinson said. The combined grants total $47,000.
Robinson is anticipating a mandatory pre-bid conference for contractors Oct. 13 at the consulting engineer's office.
The bid opening will take place Oct. 19. Bid packets may be picked up at City Hall on 10th Street.
Construction would begin just upstream from the parking lot at River Creek Park, near the stoplight at U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road, where an existing pedestrian bridge crosses Walton Creek.
A soft-surface trail exists on the south side of the pedestrian bridge.
It runs across an undeveloped commercial lot and then through open space in front of the South Side Station convenience store and, finally, the U.S. Forest Service headquarters.
The trail easement makes a 90-degree turn before it reaches the parking lot of the Steamboat Hotel - formerly Super 8 - and leads west through a lightly used portion of the parking lot at Walton Pond Apartments before reaching the river.
The existing trail turns right again and heads downstream, but Robinson said the new extension will make a left turn at that point and roughly parallel the river upstream behind the Bunkhouse Lodge, Majestic Valley townhomes and River Place residential subdivision, until it reaches Dougherty Road.
Dougherty is a private road at that juncture and the trail dead-ends there.
Although the new trail extension closely parallels the river, the easement does not provide direct public access to the water, Robinson said.
The potential for a further trail extension exists if the city someday approves a proposed residential/commercial development called The Bridges.
Developers are seeking annexation of a more than 40-acre property behind Steamboat Christian Center.
The prospective developers have said their project presents the opportunity to extend the Core Trail south toward the city-owned Hay Meadow Ranch - formerly known as Legacy Ranch - at Colorado Highway 131.
Yampatika recently has relocated and begun a science school for youngsters there.
That is the limit of the trail as described in the current master plan, Robinson said.
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