It all began back in 2015, when the Town of Elizabeth received grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation and Go Colorado for the design and construction of a town trail that would link …
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It all began back in 2015, when the Town of Elizabeth received grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation and Go Colorado for the design and construction of a town trail that would link Evans Park and Old Town. The vision was to create a recreational path that residents could use to walk or bike around town, giving them the opportunity to exercise, get some fresh air, or sit on a bench and relax for a while.
That delightful vision has been on hold for five years, after some turnover in town staffing left the project sitting stagnant. With nobody dedicated to following up on grants and staying on top of the details, it appeared the town trail would never come to fruition.
The project was resurrected in 2018, when the town hired NV5, a third-party project manager, to help get it up and running again. Matt Cohrs, town administrator, said the grant writing alone took countless hours to navigate.
“There's a lot that goes into the grants,” said Cohrs. “Some larger cities have grant coordinators, but we just had to get through it ourselves.”
Construction on the trail began in January, and when completed, the trail will start on Elbert Street in front of Running Creek Elementary, then head east to the floodplain, then north behind Main Street. The trail will go under the Kiowa Avenue bridge and follow the floodplain farther north, then will wind east again and end at the ballfields at Evans Park.
“The 1.5-mile trail will provide direct connectivity with Old Town/Main Street to events at Evans Park and the Stampede without having to cross 86, so families, exercise seekers and event attendees can safely go back and forth,” states the town's project vision.
Most of the trail will be made of concrete, and will be 14 feet wide. Benches will be placed along the trail, as well as interpretive signs. HPM contracting will be building the trail, and although their office is in Centennial, the construction superintendent lives in Kiowa.
“You can go down there and sit among the trees and pretend you're in the middle of nowhere, even though you're not that far from Highway 86,” said Cohrs.
The total cost for the project will be about $1.5 million, and according to Cohrs the bulk of that has been financed through grants, leaving the town on the hook for less than $300,000. Barring any extreme cold or snow conditions, the expected completion of the trail is sometime in April.
“This is going to be a really cool amenity for everyone who lives in Elizabeth, or comes here to visit,” said Cohrs. “We really wanted to provide an amenity for the entire community.”
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