As budget season approaches, Breckenridge reviews its ongoing and upcoming capital improvement projects
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct attribution for two quotes said by Shannon Smith.
As the deadline to finalize a budget for next year approaches, the Breckenridge Town Council received an update on capital improvements projects around town. Many of them are multiyear projects that aim to improve areas such as public infrastructure and recreation.
Last spring, the council members identified priorities within the capital improvement plan. At the Sept. 12 meeting, they received updates on some of those projects.
The five priorities identified included a ball field renovation at Kingdom Park, a skate park expansion, a bike loop and trailhead project on the McCain property, a renovation project at Carter Park and other improvements at the Riverwalk Center.
This project intends to replace the two existing grass ball fields with synthetic turf in 2024 and renovate the amenity space between the fields in 2025. The cost of these renovations is estimated to cost roughly $6.9 million. Town staff said in a memo that the synthetic surface will handle inclement weather better by draining faster than the existing grass.
The project will also result in substantial water savings since turf fields cut the amount of water used compared to grass. It is projected that this effort, paired alongside other local efforts, will drop water usage by 2,000 gallons this year.
“We are recommending this for water conservation, as well as extending the season on those fields,” administration staff member Shannon Smith explained to the council.
The proposed budget plans for a few projects on the McCain property parcel, a 128-acre parcel of town-owned land near Colorado Highway 9 and Coyne Valley Road in Breckenridge. These projects include open space, a new road, and a regional park.
Breckenridge plans to construct a beginner mountain bike loop, a hiking trail and some trailhead amenities on the McCain property. Construction is planned to begin in 2025. This project is estimated to cost $550,000.
“We could start working on the trail system to hopefully get it open to the public in 2026 or 2027,” Smith said.
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The McCain access road is planned to be constructed in 2024 and will connect Coyne Valley Road to Stan Miller Drive. It was required to be constructed as part of a real estate exchange with the Summit School District to ensure access to public works facilities. The road is expected to cost the town $9.4 million.
The park the town plans to build is expected to cost $1.2 million. The town is tentatively naming it Pond Park.
Plans are taking shape to renovate the Riverwalk Center. The goal is to give the center a refresh while updating some of its amenities. This project is budgeted through 2028 and is anticipated to cost $10.5 million.
The town plans to construct an expansion to the skate park at the Breckenridge Recreation Center. This project is estimated to cost $1.5 million.
This project involves improving drainage at Carter Park, updates for the dog park and a bathroom renovation. It is budgeted through 2025 and should cost $5 million.
Town staff also presented on other projects covering a wide range of improvements around town.
One project that is just about complete consisted of the installation of culverts and reconstruction of Coyne Valley Road and the Blue River recpath. The landscaping has been completed along the river corridor, which closes out the construction phase for the project. This project’s total budget came out to just under $9.6 million.
The Blue River Pathways Project is an effort to enhance both the bicycle and pedestrian paths along the Blue River corridor from North French Street to South Park Avenue. Staff proposed two construction projects to the council for 2024 as part of the multiyear pathways enhancement project. These projects would include deconstructing the Schoonover building east of the Blue River on Ski Hill Road and building a low-cost plaza on the parcel. Concepts for the plaza are still in the works. The project has a budget through 2027 and is expected to cost $4 million.
The town is also looking to implement a food and beverage delivery hub that would be modeled after Vail’s current system. Delivery vehicles would dock and unload at one location in town and goods would be then delivered to restaurants by a third-party logistics service. The goal of this project is to reduce the number of large trucks traveling and parking throughout the downtown core and riverwalk. The project is budgeted through 2028 and is anticipated to cost $5 million.
The town plans to conduct construction on Airport Road to make improvements. This project has a budget through 2028 and is anticipated to cost just over $7.5 million.
Town staff are looking at a fiber optic expansion for Fiber 9600, the town’s fiber optic service, in 2024. The expansion would include building out service to neighborhoods. Areas that may be included are: town-owned workforce housing, the Weisshorn, Grandview, Four O’clock Road, Christie Heights, and the Village at Breckenridge. The town had 635 customers who were using Fiber 9600 as of June. This project has a $9.8 million price tag.
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