8-mile trail extension being designed

Mesa County wants to hear from walkers, joggers, bikers and other users of the Colorado Riverfront Trail as it prepares to embark on the longest extension of the trail ever completed at one time.

Grand Junction landscape design firm Ciavonne, Roberts & Associates is in the early stages of designing an 8.1-mile section of the trail that will run from the Junior Service League Park off Redlands Parkway to the Colorado Welcome Center in Fruita.

The county next week will host the first of three open houses to provide information on the project and solicit input from the public.

“The hope is we’ll hear from people who use the trail and who might have opinions or suggestions or possibly issues we might not be aware of that need to be considered as they move forward with the design and engineering of the trail,” county spokeswoman Jessica Peterson said.

She said the design of the 10-foot-wide concrete trail should be done next spring, with construction starting in the summer. Grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and the U.S. Department of Energy are paying for the $268,000 design cost.

The project will be split into three phases, with the first phase extending 2.7 miles from the Junior Service League Park to the Walter Walker State Wildlife Area. The second phase will run 2.2 miles from 22 Road to 20 Road. The third phase will run 3.2 miles along the Interstate 70 Frontage Road from 20 Road to the Welcome Center.

Construction of the entire section should be done by 2013.

The county has set a goal of completing the trail between Palisade and Fruita by 2014.


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