Not so close to the river

This section of Riverfront Trail near High Country Court was washed away earlier this year by high waters of the Colorado River. Repair efforts will move portions of the trail 70 to 80 feet off the water’s edge, said Greg Linza, Mesa County parks and landscape manager.

After watching the raucous Colorado River assail the Riverfront Trail system this summer, Mesa County will push portions of the to-be-built trail farther away from the waterway to try to avoid future flooding.

County commissioners unanimously agreed Monday to amend a deed for a recreational easement that will move a section of the trail an additional 40 feet away from the river’s edge.

The county has obtained an easement on Colorado State Parks property about a mile west of the Redlands Parkway bridge for the first phase of a three-phase project that will result in adding roughly eight miles of new trail to the Riverfront Trail system.

The initial design for the first phase of the trail placed it within 30 to 40 feet of the river along State Parks property.

But when Greg Linza, parks and landscape manager for the county, saw the damage inflicted earlier this year on the Riverfront Trail by a river swollen with record runoff, he decided that was too close.

A half-mile stretch of the Riverfront Trail between High Country Court and the Glacier Ice Arena building has been closed since June because flooding caused two concrete trail sections totaling roughly 225 feet to collapse.

One section washed away despite being moved about 40 feet away from the river last winter.

Grand Junction city officials are now weighing whether to rebuild the trail even farther back from the river or reroute hikers and bikers away from that trail section altogether.

Linza said the relocation of the trail on the State Parks land will place it 70 to 80 feet off the river’s edge.

“We just want to make sure we’re building it to be there for a long time,” he told commissioners.

Linza said he plans to also push back from the river a section of the trail to be built on United Company of Mesa County’s property.

Construction on the first phase of the trail, which will take it from Redlands Parkway bridge to the Walter Walker State Wildlife Area, is scheduled to begin in November. The entire eight-mile trail between Redlands Parkway and the Colorado Welcome Center in Fruita should be finished in 2013.

In other business, commissioners unanimously approved a liquor license for a new sports bar in Clifton.

Uncle Nub’s Bait Shop, 3235 Interstate 70 Business Loop, Unit C, will offer traditional sports bar fare, manager Todd Colosimo said. Uncle Nub’s will fill the space formerly occupied by SmashBurger.


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