Summit Biking Group Donates $20K to Tenmile Recpath extension toward Fremont Pass
Summit Biking Group presented the Summit County Board of Commissioners this week with a $20,000 donation in support of the construction of a 3.3-mile Tenmile Recpath extension, which would be the first segment of the ultimate vision to connect the Summit County Recreational Pathway System at Copper Mountain with the Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville. Ultimately connecting the Summit and Lake county bikeways would require a 21-mile, grade-separated pathway paralleling Highway 91 over Fremont Pass.
The 3.3-mile Tenmile Recpath extension’s pathway alignment will follow the abandoned rail bed of the historic Denver South Park and Pacific Railroad via a 3.3-mile-long, 12-foot-wide paved surface and 2-foot shoulders.
“We are elated to receive this generous contribution from Summit Biking Group,” County Commissioner Dan Gibbs said in a statement. “Summit County is very fortunate to have such a fantastic community partner on the bicycling front. Summit Biking Group is instrumental in our ongoing work to invest in a world-class biking experience for our residents and visitors.”
In 2015, this Fremont Pass Recpath idea was formally identified as part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s “Colorado the Beautiful: Colorado’s 16” trails initiative. The statewide initiative intends to build on existing efforts and partnerships to address trail gaps, missing segments and unbuilt trails across the state.
Ultimately, the Tenmile extension up to Fremont Pass will extend from the existing Tenmile Canyon Recpath to the northern boundary of Climax Mine.
Jason Lederer of Summit County’s Open Space and Trais Department said in the county’s statement that construction of the Tenmile Extension Recpath is scheduled to start in 2019, with an anticipated opening in 2020.
Summit County relies heavily on outside funding for its recpath enhancement projects. For the Tenmile extension up to Fremont Pass, the county was awarded a $4.5 million Federal Lands Access Program grant in 2016. The grant includes extensive design, permitting and project management support from the Federal Highway Administration’s Central Federal Lands Highway Division. Summit County is providing an additional $600,000 in matching funds, which it hopes will help to attract the remaining needed funding for this project the county estimates to cost $6 million.
The project also includes a 460-foot-long boardwalk designed to protect a large wetlands complex along the alignment. A 260-foot-long bridge will also span Highway 91 at the southern end of the new segment to provide safe pedestrian access across the highway. Like much of Summit County’s Recpath system, the new segment will be nearly entirely on White River National Forest lands and will be operated under a special use permit from the Dillon Ranger District.
Summit Biking Group is a local non-profit organization that works to enhance recreational bicycling opportunities in Summit County by connecting fellow cyclists in a fun and organized environment. The group raises funds to provide financial support for projects that improve the Summit County Recpath System and other local road-cycling infrastructure.
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