County, Idaho Springs awarded GOCO grant

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$2 million to be used for trails, greenway

By Ian Neligh

Great Outdoors Colorado last week awarded $2 million to Idaho Springs and Clear Creek County so they can work on open space and greenway projects.

The county will use its portion of the money to continue building the Peaks to Plains Clear Creek Greenway in Clear Creek Canyon, while Idaho Springs will use its portion to complete a greenway trail through the city.

Peaks to Plains Greenway

The greenway trail segment, which includes numerous river access points and three bridges over the creek, will eventually tie into the larger Peaks to Plains project, which will stretch 65 miles from Loveland Pass to Adams County.

County Open Space Director Martha Tableman said the grant will help build the trail from its current stopping point near Tunnel 5 three-quarters of a mile up Clear Creek Canyon to Tunnel 6.

“This is pretty critical because part of why they don’t want bikes down the canyon is because they don’t want you riding on the roads through the canyon and through the tunnels,” Tableman said, adding once completed there will be nine miles of trails between Clear Creek and Jefferson counties.

“The hope is if everything falls into place in terms of design, then we will start building next spring,” Tableman said. “I think by 2019 you will see it done.”

Idaho Springs’ project

City Administrator Andy Marsh said GOCO funding will help pay for the greenway trail from the west end of the city to the roundabout on the east end, with construction starting next year and finishing in 2019.

“Tourists and local residents will benefit from safer, pedestrian-friendly connections between the city’s business district on the east side and its downtown area,” said GOCO in a statement. “The trail will create safer connections among local parks, Clear Creek Recreation Center and historic sites.”