Spring thaw allows Summit County officials to start early recpath maintenance
With an unusually warm spring, many Summit County bike paths are already clear for eager cyclists. Almost all recpaths are open, with the exception of the Ten Mile Canyon recpath between Frisco and Copper, which is currently closed for avalanche danger.
“This is probably the earliest we’ve seen our pathways cleared,” said Jason Lederer, a resource specialist for Summit County Open Space and Trails. “We’ve definitely seen a lot of people just biking along the recpaths, so we’re trying to respond to that.”
He hopes to see the Ten Mile Canyon recpath open by Memorial Day. As most other paths are cleared of snow, the county is working at sweeping them and clearing them of debris. While the bike path around Dillon Reservoir was just swept, there is still much work to do, as workers look for new and better ways to repair some of the more damaged sections this spring.
“We’re trying to figure out a better way to fill cracks. We fill them and it works fine for a summer, and then it’s a crack again,” said Summit County assistant manager Thad Noll.
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One area of focus is the Snake River recpath in Keystone, which the county hopes to repave as soon as bids are sent and a contractor is picked in the upcoming weeks. Lederer said the 1,300-foot stretch of trail should only take a week or two to repair.
“That’s our focus area this year,” Lederer said. “We’re hoping to get in and work on it in April or May.”
The town of Dillon will partner with the county, with plans to use the same contractor to fix their stretch of the Dillon Dam recpath, stretching from the East Dillon entrance to Summerwood Drive. Both Summit County and Dillon will experiment with sections of the path to test new techniques for permanently filling cracks.
“There’s quite a bit of cracking on our section,” said Dillon Public Works director Scott O’Brien. “This spring we will be working on that path to correct that deficiency.”
O’Brien said that Dillon would use three different treatments to address cracks depending on size, and then apply a slurry seal to the entire section to smoothen the path. He hopes to start work in May.
For the long term, Summit County is drafting plans for future bike paths. Right now, they are drafting plans for a new path that would extend south from County Road 450 in Breckenridge to French Creek. The county is also working on designs for a new path between Copper Mountain and Fremont Pass. Grants have not yet been secured for either project.
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