A long-anticipated project to create a smooth connection between downtown Evergreen and the Lake Park has hit a couple of snags regarding permitting, which Scott Robson, Evergreen Park and Recreation District executive director, is in the process of unraveling.
After working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to obtain a permit for the loop trail, Robson recently learned that a portion of the proposed trail path along Highway 74 is on Denver Mountain Parks land.
This discovery has created delays in permitting and questions about the authority of each jurisdiction. Robson is now working with the city of Denver to determine if the municipality will issue the permit for the project, instead of CDOT.
“It’s a complex permitting process,” said Robson.
Despite this issue, trail construction is still scheduled to begin early this fall and be completed by late fall, he said.
“We’re trying to push this forward,” said Robson.
The trail project involves constructing a trail along Highway 74 as an alternative to metal stairs on each side of the lake dam.
Evergreen architect Dean Dalvit of EV Studios and citizen volunteer Rocky Graziano are continuing to take the lead on the project while working on design modifications.
CenterPoint Integrated Solutions, an Evergreen construction management firm, is overseeing the project and serving as a point of contact with CDOT.
The project is being funded by a $250,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant and through in-kind donations of services and materials, said Robson. In addition to contributions from Dalvit and Graziano, Big R Bridge is donating a valuable amount of steel, said Robson.
“There is no cost to the EPRD for this,” he said.
Other in-kind dollars for related trail improvements — such as rebuilding the southern portion of the boardwalk — have come from funds already dedicated by EPRD, Robson said.
“Liz Cohen was key to putting all aspects of the project together,” said Robson. Cohen works as a grant writer for the park district.
When the loop trail is completed, the metal stairs will remain in place, said Robson. However, people visiting Evergreen will be able to take a gently sloped path from the downtown district to Evergreen Lake Park instead of negotiating the steep metal stairs.
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