Horn Ranch trail repairs near completion

Officials state that groundwater was the biggest contributing factor to the damage

Crews from Ewing Construction work on retaining wall repairs along the Eagle Valley Trail at the Horn Ranch Open Space. Groundwater issues forced the county to close sections of the trail this summer.
Special to the Daily

EAGLE — ECO Trails hopes to reopen closed portions of the Eagle Valley Trail between Eagle and Horn Ranch open space by next week.

The final asphalt overlay along the path is scheduled this week and once that is complete, the entire path will be reopened.

After discovering cracks in the asphalt near retaining walls in June, an inspection of the trail structures revealed that five areas needed to be rebuilt. Officials said that groundwater was the biggest contributing factor to the damage.

ECO Trails Program Manager Kevin Sharkey noted that 2018 — when the trail was under construction — was an extremely dry year. But 2019 was a much wetter season and a large volume of groundwater was detected in several problem areas, necessitating the repairs.

“There was no defective original construction,” Sharkey said. “It was just unforeseen groundwater issues that caused the problem.”

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Sharkey added that before construction commenced last year, the county’s testing did not indicate any groundwater issues.

“There really was no signs of groundwater in either our drill bores or in actual construction,” said Sharkey.

The repair work was estimated to cost $200,000 but the final bill will be closer to $140,000.

“Ewing Construction wanted to make sure the project is a success so they offered to discount their repair work,” Sharkey said. “They did the repair work quickly and efficiently.”

Shortly after the path reopens, ECO Trails has plans for a special dedication ceremony. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the Mott’s Landing bridge project will be formally dedicated.

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