City takes action on Ridgeview

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By the end of last summer, pedestrians and cyclists had a 7,300-foot long trail that took them from the Ridgeview subdivision to Finley Lane.

By the end of next summer, that trail will extend 1,500 feet to Ledford Street.

The Craig City Council took action Tuesday night on a resolution that will get the second phase of the Ridgeview Trail started. Council members voted unanimously to award a contract to Dan Giroux for engineering services.

The council agreed to sole source engineering services -- which means forgoing the bid process -- at the request of Parks and Recreation Department Director Dave Pike.

Giroux, working for Apple--gate Inc., did the engineering work on the first phase of the project. He since has opened his own firm.

Pike requested to sole source the bid based on Giroux's knowledge about the project and "outstanding service" on the first phase, as well as the fact that Giroux will charge the same fee he did in 2002 for the work on Phase 1.

The contract calls for Giroux's services not to exceed $10,000. There is $9,300 budgeted for engineering services.

The cost of the second phase will be $98,665, with $78,932 of that coming from grants.

The trail addition will run between Sixth Street and Crest Drive from Finley Lane to Ledford Street. The existing trail is a mixture of concrete and crusher fines. The addition will be concrete. Construction likely will begin next summer.

"It's amazing how long it takes," Pike said. "There's a lot of red tape with these kinds of funds."

The Ridgeview Trail project began in 1999 when the city received $374,750 in grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation and lottery proceeds.

"The trail itself fits within the parameters of what CDOT wants to accomplish with its enhancement funds," Pike said.

The project was delayed as grant funds were sought and the path of the trail was engineered. The biggest delay, though, was in acquiring easements through private property.

A large portion of Phase 1 crossed private property. Those problems won't carry into Phase 2. The path of the second portion of trail aligns with an existing city easement that includes the Craig Ditch.

The bike and pedestrian trail will be 10 1/2-feet wide and is intended to get people off U.S. Highway 40.

"It's really a safety issue," Pike said. "That's the key reason we decided to put a trail there."

The trail is listed as a priority in the city parks and recreation master plan.

Mel Day, manager of Columbine Apartments, said the use of the trail is mostly recreational.

"It's not overused, I can assure you, but in the summer, people walk their dogs, and I see kids riding their bicycles on it," he said.

Day said the trail offers safer passage for those who use it, but he doesn't think it's used enough to have an effect on overall safety for the community.

"It's a really nice trail," he said.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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