With grants OK’d, city ready to start trail extension

The Durango City Council on Tuesday approved a $508,456 grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation to extend the Animas River Trail from 29th Street to 32nd Street.

It also has a $200,000 grant from the Colorado State Parks and Wildlife Trails Program to spend on the trail extension, which will cost $1.05 million altogether.

The city is responsible for covering 33 percent of the project’s cost, about $300,000, with funding from a half-cent sales tax for park and trails projects that voters approved in 1999.

The river trail expansion will parallel East Third Avenue along Memorial Park. To save the park’s grass, the trail will serve a dual purpose as a sidewalk.

Work on the design is already under way. The project is expected to go to bid for construction this summer.

The project is expected to take a year to complete, said Kevin Hall, the city’s director of natural lands, sustainability and trails.

In other work on the seven-mile trail, a bridge around a hill by the Durango Mall is on schedule to be completed by the end of the month or early June, Hall said.

“We’ll pull down the gates, and we’ll be open for business,” Hall said.

jhaug@durangoherald.com

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