Pending negotiation of contract details with the landowner, Eagle is set to begin construction late this month on a new trail at the Haymeadow property.
Once the trail is completed, the community is poised to host the 2013 Colorado High School Cycling League State Championship, scheduled in October.
The trail will be located on the northern portion of the Haymeadow property, north of planned development at the site. The development plan anticipates the trail property will be deeded to the town as open space, but the project is still in the review stage and the town has not yet approved the development.
Town Attorney Ed Sands has been in negotiations with Haymeadow property owner Ric Newman's attorney regarding a "revocable license agreement" that would allow the town to build the trail and would grant access to the general public. The Haymeadow owners would retain the right to revoke the license, but Newman has indicated he would be willing to sign an agreement for town reimbursement of trail costs, based on a sliding scale, if the license was revoked.
Tuesday night the Eagle Town Board voted to allocate $60,000 for the trail construction. The actual construction is estimated to cost $45,000 with a $15,000 contingency for equipment rental and other unanticipated expenses. Momentum Trail Concepts will be in charge of the construction and the company anticipates the work will be completed within a 45-day schedule.
"Construction would involve machinery (a mini excavator) and hand tool work by Momentum's trail crew," noted Eagle Open Space Coordinator John Staight. "Momentum has said they would welcome local volunteer groups wishing to work on the trails as well."
While the trail construction is a requirement for attracting the high school cycling competition, proponents emphasized the completed work will be a community amenity.
"This is something that's going to be another jewel of the valley," said local cycling enthusiast John Bailey.
Bailey, who has been involved in design and construction of both world championship and Olympic cycling trails, noted that hiring Momentum is key to the effort's success.
"This is not a trial that can be built with volunteers. This is a trail where you need an expert crew," said Bailey.
Charlie Brown of the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition noted the volunteer group will volunteer time to work with the expert crews He said that Eagle Town Board member Scott Turnipseed noted the new trail will bring beginner and intermediate riding options to town. "It is going to get a lot of use," he said.
Turnipseed and Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick have been lobbying the Colorado High School Cycling League to bring competition to Eagle, but the stumbling block has been the lack of an intermediate loop trail. The new trail will provide a race course where students in grades 9-12 can race on a 6- or 8-mile loop with a mix of double track and single track, and climbs of 600 to 800 feet. The state championship is scheduled for Oct. 19-20 and last month the town approved $5,000 from the marketing and events budget to help support the competition.
"It's going to be a great event for the town," said Turnipseed.
After voting, 6-1, to approve $60,000 for the trail construction - town board member Brandi Resa voted against the proposal, saying she did not have enough information - the board directed staff to work with the Haymeadow team to iron out details of the contract. That contract will come back to the board on April 23 and trail construction could begin immediately following the contract finalization.