CDOT director, local stakeholders cut ribbon on EagleVail pedestrian trail
New segment represents important connection in Eagle Valley Trail
Touting a project that will bring safety and connectivity to the community, Colorado Department of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew visited EagleVail on Tuesday to help cut the ribbon on a new section of the Eagle Valley Trail.
The project, located along mile markers 172 and 173 on U.S. Highway 6 in EagleVail, created a new hard surface recreation path by condensing the highway from five lanes to three lanes.
County Commissioner Matt Scherr said the project is an example of CDOT’s transformation from a “lines and lanes organization” to one that looks at the best ways to move people around.
“And this is a tremendous way to do that in our community,” Scherr said of the Eagle Valley Trail. “We’ve been dying to see this happen.”
The long-term goal for the Eagle Valley Trail is to create a continuous hard-surface trail from Vail Pass to Glenwood Canyon.
“This is a really important step to trying to complete the Eagle Valley Trail,” Scherr said Tuesday.
The total length of the path is approximately 0.6 miles.
The project cost $5.9 million; Eagle County contributed $566,000 as well as design funds, including $56,000 from the EagleVail Metro District Board.
Other improvements included the replacing of more than 7,000 linear feet of guardrail and upgrading 21 ADA ramps to meet modern safety standards and improve access.
Lew, who has a master’s degree in history from Northwestern University, detailed a bit of the history of U.S. Highway 6 in EagleVail.
“This was completed in 1940, as was the original Vail Pass, named after one of our engineers, Charles Vail,” Lew said. “So this is part and parcel to the fiber of what CDOT views as the heritage of the alignment of our road.”
Lew said the multi-modal function of the road and pedestrian trail integrates the community by connecting retail and housing, as well.
“You can see that this is not just investment in pavement,” she said. “It’s really one that’s about people, not just about cars. And I’m really proud to be a part of that transformation.”