Monday, July 17, 2006

Swan Mountain Bike Path

Groundbreaking for the 1.5 mile Lowry section of the Swan Mountain bike path segment could be just a few weeks away, according to Brad Eckert, the open space and trails planner in charge of the project.

The bidding for the $2 million job closed June 29. Only a final review and approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is needed before work begins, Eckert said."They have to give us a notice to approve," Eckert said, explaining that construction of the path over Swan Mountain was delayed at this stage once before.

Federal funding for the work, administered through CDOT, adds a level of complexity to the approval process, he said. Eckert isn't sure if the section will be finished this year.

Most of the money for the Lowry section is available right now, with only a relatively small $45,000 funding gap remaining. A July 20 concert and silent auction is aimed at closing that gap, and more than 200 of the 250 available tickets for the event have already been sold, said the Northwest Colorado Council of Government's Liz Mullen.

Completion of the Lowry section, probably sometime during the summer of 2007, would let cyclists avoid about 2.2 miles of Swan Mountain Road. The section includes about 8,800 linear feet of pathway over an average grade of 4 percent, with a maximum grade of 7 percent.

The project has been in the works for quite some time, and Eckert said he'll be pleased when work finally begins.

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