Construction begins on two final segments of Eagle Valley Trail
Work begins on EagleVail and Dowd Junction sections
Construction began on two of the remaining segments of the Eagle Valley Trail, with completion of a third segment expected within weeks.
The final segment needed to complete the Eagle Valley Trail through all of EagleVail is underway, with completion slated for the fall of 2023. This short but challenging trail segment is located between U.S. Highway 6 and the Eagle River, at the eastern end of EagleVail. The trail alignment is north of Highway 6 with steep slopes, some of which drop down all the way to the Eagle River.
Otak, the design engineer, Gould Construction, the general contractor, and ECO Trails, the county department responsible for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of the Eagle Valley Trail, worked closely with the Colorado Department of Transportation to modify the original trail design. The design had previously included a 200-foot bridge and numerous retaining walls, saving over $1 million in construction costs.
This half-mile segment of the Eagle Valley Trail completes all missing EagleVail segments and connects the trail from Kayak Crossing to the EagleVail business center. During construction, vehicle traffic will continue to be two-way, but with very narrow shoulders. Cyclists will need to navigate the construction zone and extreme caution is advised.
“Once this section of the Eagle Valley Trail is complete, you’ll be able to ride your bike from Edwards to Breckenridge on a dedicated paved recreation trail,” said ECO Trails manager Kevin Sharkey.
Support Local Journalism
Also slated for construction this summer is the completion of a short but difficult segment between U.S. Highway 6 and the Eagle River in Dowd Junction. ECO Trails and the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District are working together as the district installs a new sanitary sewer force main in the narrow corridor.
The design will allow significant cost savings in an alternative design for the Eagle Valley Trail. ECO Trails will begin construction of this trail segment once the water and sanitation district has completed the sewer main installation. Construction is slated to begin later this summer, and the project is being managed by Gould Construction as a general contractor. Construction of this segment also paves the way for the Minturn connection of the Eagle Valley Trail, which is currently under permit review with the U.S. Forest Service.
“We ask for the community’s patience and caution throughout these construction projects this summer, whether you’re driving, riding a bike or walking,” Sharkey said.
Finally, the segment of the Eagle Valley Trail that connects the Duck Pond Open Space west of Gypsum to the beginning of Glenwood Canyon was nearly 100% completed in the fall of 2022. While the trail is open to the public, asphalt crews are waiting for temperatures to warm up before installing the final layer of asphalt on the trail. This is tentatively planned for mid- to late-May, according to Sharkey.
“It’s exciting to see the remaining trail segments coming together,” Sharkey said. “Thanks to the Eagle County Board of County Commissioners’ contribution of $22,000,000 raised by securing Certificates of Participation, as well as some significant state and federal grants and private donations, the construction projects this summer are able to move forward. However, we still need the community’s support to raise the additional funds needed to complete the construction of the trail. Next summer, we will begin the longest and most expensive remaining connection from Edwards to Horn Ranch, west of Wolcott. It will require all of the funding to be raised in 2023 to ensure that section can be completed.”
Fundraising efforts are underway and more information can be found at EagleValleyTrail.org.
Vail community celebrates life of Nick Courtens, a talented horticulturist and dependable friend, at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
A celebration of life for Vail local Nick Courtens took place on Friday in the same location where Courtens arranged a memorial for his friend Spencer Cooke eight years earlier. Courtens, 34, died in a …