Summit County recpaths get a boost |

Summit County recpaths get a boost

Summit Daily/Mark FoxBicyclists make the climb up the Lowry section of the new Swan Mountain recpath following dedication ceremonies in Summit Cove on August, 13, 2007. More of the path may be completed this summer.

SUMMIT COUNTY ” The county commissioners decided to spur a local economic stimulus package by moving up a scheduled recpath maintenance project a full year.

The 3,000 foot section near Wheeler Flats (by the Copper Mountain Conoco) will be resurfaced some time late this summer, with a request for bids going out at the end of this week, said Summit open space and trails planner Brad Eckert.

The work will require some closures during a six-week construction period. Eckert said the plan is to keep the path open on the weekends. Since there is no viable detour, the trails department will refer people to the Summit Stage for transport between Copper and Frisco.

The work was originally planned for 2010, but at last week’s commissioner work session, the elected officials said they’d provide some advance funding for the project.

The work could benefit from the slow economy by spurring competitive bids. A recent trail project proposal in Silverthorne came in well below what the town had budgeted.

The county also plans to build the next section of the recpath over Swan Mountain Road this summer. The 4,000-foot milestone section will complete the path between Summit Cove all the way to Sapphire Point, the high point on the route.

The county is also looking at taking bids for that project in the next few weeks, Eckert said.

The work has all environmental approvals and the money is already in the bag, Eckert said, referring to $1.7 million available for the extension. Most of the money comes from outside sources. Grants and private donations outstrip the local tax dollar share of the project, Eckert said.

Summit County is also in the hunt for federal stimulus money that could help complete the final section of the path, from Sapphire Point down to Farmer’s Korner. The commissioners recently asked lobbyist Tom Glass to work with federal agencies in Washington, D.C., to help find trail dollars.

A federal grant could help convince the Great Outdoors Colorado board to chip in with yet another signifcant grant to get the final piece done by 2011.

Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at

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