Clear Creek moves forward with Greenway trails project |

Clear Creek moves forward with Greenway trails project

Matt Gaunt, of Keystone, paddles into the top of the Lawson Whitewater Park while Di Lobry, also of Keystone, waits to drop in on Clear Creek. The Clear Creek County Greenway Project will add about 13 miles of trail for rec users, like paddlers and anglers.
David Gidley / Special to the Daily |

A multi-million dollar project to improve recreational paths along the Clear Creek corridor got the final go-ahead from the Clear Creek County board of commissioners.

On July 7, the board approved a contract with The Greenway Foundation to begin work on a planning and design proposal for the Clear Creek County Greenway Trail project.

The project consists of nearly 13 miles of pedestrian and bike trails, along with trailside facilities to support fishing and whitewater recreation along Clear Creek. Work will begin on Phase One of the project as soon as the project receives final approvals.

The Greenway Foundation was selected to provide Clear Creek County with a team of experts who have relevant experience on the Interstate 70 mountain corridor and similar trail projects. The foundation has been a key player in trail planning and development along the South Platte River and its various tributaries. The foundation was instrumental to other recent projects, including the Twin Tunnels expansion.

“Clear Creek County is excited about moving into the design phase of the Greenway project,” said Tim Mauck, a Clear Creek county commissioner. “We feel a great team has been assembled and look forward to the engagement of the team members and the ultimate outcomes.”

The county has received $2 million in federal aid for design on the recreational Greenway trails, located between mile 230 (Empire junction) and mile 243 (Hidden Valley) on I-70. The county will contribute $500,000 in funding.

The county will also manage the design, with oversight from the Colorado Department of Transportation; the Greenway Foundation will act as a project manager.

The project has also been part of a river corridor initiative from Great Outdoors Colorado. GOCO offered the River Corridor Initiative at the urging of stakeholders, local governments and many land trusts.

“Great Outdoors Colorado spends a lot of time out in communities across Colorado and we heard the same themes repeatedly over the last couple of years,” said GOCO board chair Peggy Moñtano. “People want recreational opportunities close to home, they value Colorado’s rivers and they want more trails.”

The Board awarded a total of $37.3 million in GOCO/Lottery funds to 42 projects throughout the state in 2012, when Greenway won its initial award. GOCO’s special River Corridors Initiative will result in the protection of more than 3,000 acres of publicly accessible open space and critical trail development, both of which will increase opportunities for recreation along creeks and rivers statewide.

Other projects funded via GOCO’s regular grant cycle will enhance outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Colorado, create plans for future projects and protect more than 21,638 acres of open space.

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