Montrose, CO – Construction on the northern most reach of the Connect Initiative has begun as the community anxiously awaits its benefits.
Funds for the construction of over two miles of new recreation trail connecting the northern and southern ends of the City of Montrose were recently approved, and City Councilors awarded over $3 million in contracts to local constractors for the project.
Once completed fall of this year, the project will add approximately 2.25 miles of hard-surfaced recreation trail creating a continuous north-south route between the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority, (MURA) on the north and the Montrose Community Recreation Center to the south.
The trail will be almost entirely separated from vehicular traffic as designs include two underpasses one at Townsend Avenue and the other at West Main Street. The new concrete trail will be 10' wide with 2' soft surface shoulder.
Councilors approved $3,007,879 in expenses for the project. The low bidder, Western Gravel Constructors based in Montrose, will build the trail for $2,823,979 while local consulting firm Del-Mont Consultants will add engineering and survey support budgeted at $183,900.
In 2017 the City of Montrose partnered with several local organizations, including the Montrose Recreation District, and was awarded a $2 million dollar grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to help with construction of the "Connecting the People to their Parks and Rec" project.
The city budgeted $3.25 million for the project within its final 2019 budget. With the GOCO grant reimbursement and $450,000 invested by the Montrose Recreation District and several other organizations, the city's overall contribution to the project is around $550,000.
The northern reach of the trail snakes along the Uncompahgre River from the MURA boundary to West Main Street, also known as Colorado Highway 90, where it will pass underneath the highway to connect with the existing city trail network at the West Main Trailhead.
Construction of the southern portion of the trail will begin at the Montrose Recreation Center and move northwest, passing under South Townsend Avenue (U.S. Highway 550) at the existing bridge at the Dry Cedar Creek. The trail will then connect to the southern end of the existing Uncompahgre Riverway Trail, near the Russel Stover chocolate factory.
The trail work is $240,000 under the 2019 budget for the project. The Montrose Recreation District is investing $355,000 for the project with the remaining funds provided by other city partners including Montrose County, MontroseUrban Renewal Authority, Valley Food Partnership, Colorado Health Foundation, MontroseCommunity Foundation, Montrose Recreational Foundation, Black Hills Energy and the Gates Family Foundation.
The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019.
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