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ADAMS COUNTY — A two-mile gap in the South Platte River Trail through Adams County presently forces users onto the narrow shoulders of 104th Avenue and Brighton Road, with speed limits of 50 and 45 miles per hour respectively-a dangerous route that discourages families and youth from using the entire trail.
Eliminating such missing links is the goal of Great Outdoors Colorado’s new Paths to Parks initiative, which last month awarded a $600,000 grant to Adams County to apply towards the construction of a new, safer segment of the South Platte River Trail between 104th and 120th Avenues.
Adams County’s Parks and Open Space Department plans to install a 250-foot prefabricated metal pedestrian bridge over the South Platte River; a 70-foot prefabricated metal pedestrian bridge over the Bull Seep Creek drainage; and 1.7 miles of 10-foot-wide, concrete multi-use trail. Adams County will also construct two crushed-rock spur trails totaling three-quarters of a mile.
The total cost of the project is $1.8 million; in addition to the $600,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, funding includes nearly $1.05 million from Adams County’s voter-approved Open Space Sales Tax and $150,000 from the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District.
When completed next summer, the South Platte River Trail project will connect numerous parks and open spaces, including the 160-acre Elaine T. Valente Open Space and the 1,150-acre Adams County Regional Park.
The project will also provide connections to regional trails such as Clear Creek, Niver Creek and Sand Creek.
“As Adams County continues to grow, it is vitally important that we preserve the county’s quality of life for our citizens by providing safe, convenient access to open spaces,” said Shannon McDowell, Acting Director of Parks and Community Resources for Adams County. “Thanks to Great Outdoors Colorado, the improvements to this portion of the South Platte River Trail will enable residents and visitors alike to enjoy the scenery without having to worry about inattentive drivers or other traffic-related hazards.”
Adams County government was one of six recipients of a Paths to Parks grant. The Great Outdoors Colorado Board also approved similar projects in Aurora, Brighton, Fort Collins, Golden and Salida at a total cost of $4 million.