EAGLE-VAIL — Work is set to start on the final section of the Eagle Valley Trail between Edwards and Eagle-Vail.
Eagle County commissioners approved an easement agreement on Sept. 24 that will allow construction of a 2,400-foot section of bike path from Eagle-Vail to Stone Bridge Road.
“We’ll start in the next couple of weeks and get as far as we can before winter and finish in the spring,” said ECO Trails Program Manager Ellie Caryl. “Next spring is also when Avon will start work on its end of trail, starting on the other side of Stone Bridge Road. That will include retaining walls and two bridges.”
The Eagle-Vail section is estimated to cost a little less than $450,000. Avon’s 3,500-foot section to the west is more involved and will cost approximately $1.5 million. Grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and the Colorado Department of Transportation will cover a significant portion of that, however.
“This is the last section of the trail between Edwards and Eagle-Vail,” said Avon Town Engineer Justin Hildreth. “It’ll be great to get it done.”
Caryl said even though it won’t be finished by winter, every little bit makes a difference.
“It’s a busy section of road and a lot of people are currently walking on the shoulder of the road,” she said.
Hildreth said the trail provides connectivity to amenities such as open space land .
“There are three water features in the park and you will be able to see two,” he said. “Avon owns a lot of the land along the river bank, so we’ll try to wind the trail down next to the river as much as possible.”
After the Eagle-Vail and Avon sections are complete, and a section west of Gypsum gets paved, Caryl said 33 miles of the 63-mile trail will be finished.
“We’re running a little behind on paving, but we have many feet of subgrade built,” she said.
Funding is a challenge for every section of trail. Caryl and Hildreth noted there are many partnerships involved to make it happen. Caryl said she wonders if the flood on the Front Range will affect grant funding.
“It will be interesting to see if GOCO ends up having a special grant cycle focused on rebuilding damaged areas on the Front Range,” she said.
GOCO representatives were unable to comment by press time.