City reveals design plans for westward Core Trail expansion |

City reveals design plans for westward Core Trail expansion

The Core Trail West project would expand the Yampa River Core Trail from Snow Bowl Plaza to Silver Spur, and will run through the Brown Ranch development once it's finished.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy photo

The City of Steamboat Springs revealed detailed design plans for the westward expansion of the Yampa River Core Trail last week, and City Council voted unanimously to approve an outgoing grant request to help fund the project on Tuesday, May 17.

The Core Trail West project would extend the concrete sidewalk from Snow Bowl Plaza to the nearby wetlands on the city-owned Fournier parcel, where it would merge into a 10-foot-wide shared-use trail that would run along the Yampa River and the Steamboat Springs KOA Holiday. Then the path would go under U.S. Highway 40 via a pedestrian underpass near the Sleeping Bear Mobile Home Park and transition from concrete to soft surface and stretch all the way to County Road 42 and the Silver Spur subdivision.

The trail will connect to the Brown Ranch development being planned by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. City engineers chose to make the trail soft surface through the Brown Ranch area so it could be moved if needed as construction at the development evolves.

The trail extension would be 2.4 miles total, with 1.7 miles of soft surface and .7 miles of hard surface.

The section of trail through the wetland areas requires removing some willows and cottonwood trees, but according to City Engineer Ben Beall, the city promises to plant more trees than they remove.

“We want to be good stewards with the tax dollars,” Beall said.

The engineers of the project also plan to install culverts that will connect the wetlands area with the Yampa River. There is a berm between the wetlands and the river that blocks water from moving between the two bodies, but the culverts will allow water and aquatic wildlife to flow freely back and forth.

The Core Trail West expansion would be 2.4 miles long if completed as planned.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy photo

The design of Core Trail West is nearly finished, and construction will start once funding is secured. The tentative plan is to finish the designs within the next couple of months and hopefully secure funding by late winter/early spring 2023.

If Steamboat earns the grant, it would net the city $900,000 from the Colorado Department of Transportation Multi-Modal Options Fund Grant Program. That money would help fund the US40 Trail Extension Project, also referred to as Core Trail West.

“This community has had a longstanding tradition of quality grant writers” said City Manager Gary Suiter. According to Suiter, the city has experienced an increase in grant activity recently, as the city was awarded about $7.5 million in grants in 2021.

The project is expected to cost $5 million, but rising construction costs nationwide give Beall reason to worry costs may increase in the next year. Beall said breaking the project up into phases may help get it off the ground if the whole cost of the project can’t be covered when construction is ready.

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