Jeffco Open Space, along with Clear Creek County Open Space, is thrilled to be awarded a Colorado Lottery 2018 Starburst Award for the Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park. Starburst Awards recognize excellence in the use of Lottery funds for community and conservation projects. Winners are chosen based on the creativity of the project, economic and social impact on the community, and whether the project achieved its goal.
The project area recognized is a collaborative effort between Clear Creek and Jefferson Counties, as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), on a 4-mile segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail that straddles both counties in Clear Creek Canyon. Three miles of this segment opened to the public on July 28, 2016 after more than three years of challenging design, permitting and construction. The final mile in this segment located in Jefferson County opened to the public with a cable cutting ceremony on September 29, 2017. The project would not have been possible without a $4.6 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, funded by the Colorado Lottery, which was awarded in 2012 as part of the River Corridors Initiative.
With the cooperation of fall weather, both Jeffco Open Space and Clear Creek County will be closing sections of the trail on Monday and Tuesday, 9/18 and 9/19 of 2017.
Access to Peaks to Plains Trail from Mayhem Gulch trailhead will be blocked down from the restrooms and through the underpass for staining and maintenance. In addition, Clear Creek County will be closing their section of the trail from the county line to the west side of the box culvert.
Parking is available at Cannonball Flats and the Oxbow lots. However, if parking at the Oxbow, be advised only about ¾ of a mile of trail will be accessible at this time.
Please plan accordingly and thanks for your patience.
Peaks to Plains Trail section in Clear Creek County will be closed this week for repairs. Crews will be starting near intersection of 119 & US Hwy 6 to approximately 1/4 mile west. The trail will remain open from the Mayhem Gulch Trailhead west 2 miles to the county line at the intersection of Hwy 119 & US 6. The Oxbow Trailhead on the west side of Tunnel 5, and east approximately 2/3 of a mile around tunnel 5 is still accessible, but the Clear Creek County segment of the trail along the highway will be closed.
On October 7, 2016 The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded a $2 million grant to Jefferson County to fund a new segment of the 65-mile vision for the Peaks to Plains (P2P) Trail at the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon. The grant was part of GOCO’s first round of funding for its new Connect Initiative, with $10 million in grants awarded to close critical gaps in trail networks across the state. GOCO’s Connect Initiative will invest $30 million over the next three years in closing trail gaps and creating safe access for all Coloradans to the outdoors. More than 80% of people in Colorado recreate on trails, and closing gaps and increasing connectivity has long been a top priority for the state’s residents.
Jeffco Open Space’s proposal for the P2P Trail is one of six highly-demanded trail projects selected to move forward, with funding helping to construct more than 23 miles of trail and leveraging nearly $25 million in local matching dollars.
What does this mean for Jeffco Open Space and the P2P Trail? This grant will allow for the design and construction of an additional 1.75 miles of trail at the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon, including a bridge and two trailheads with safe parking lots accessible from US Highway 6 that will accommodate an estimated 50 parking spots each. Design of this new section will begin in 2017 and connect 24 miles of hard surface trail from the City of Golden to the western end of the stunning oxbow at Tunnel #1 on US 6.
Allowing direct access into Golden’s downtown, the area is already serving as a hub for multiple recreation uses and this grant will further the thoughtful conservation and enjoyment of yet another segment of the P2P trail!
The second bridge at Cannonball East was installed overnight on March 15, and the third bridge at Cannonball West went in overnight on March 16. The construction equipment was staged on US 6 and required the overnight highway closure. Here’s to the successful bridge installations! Thank you to everyone involved.
We recently took a trip to Greeley to check in on the fabrication of the first three of our four bridges, which will be installed mid March. They are made completely out of
Cor-Ten, also called weathering steel, which eliminates the need for painting as the product naturally forms a rust-like appearance when exposed to the elements. Each bridge will have overlooks on both sides to allow visitors to step off the trail and have an unobstructed view of the creek. They are too large to deliver in one piece. Instead they will be sent in four pieces (two bridge segments and two overlooks) connected on site and installed as one piece with the help of a large crane. Enjoy the pictures!
Welding one of the sides of the westernmost bridge. This is the largest span at just under 136 feet.
The center connection point. It will be disassembled here for shipping.
The easternmost bridge. This is the shortest bridge at just under 107 feet. The small holes you see on the vertical members are for the cable safety railing.
One half of the bridge. Its other half can be seen on the right.
The middle of the three bridges with a span of just under 122 feet. This had just been sandblasted to remove debris and writing from the fabrication process. By the time this is installed in March it should have a rusty patina again.
The two pieces of the middle bridge.
One of the six overlooks. The holes for the cable safety railing can be seen here as well.
The crews have been hard at work of late and have made great progress on the bridge abutments for 3 of the 4 future bridges. The actual bridges will be installed in late winter of 2016, but these abutments really start to give you an idea of what the finished trail will look like.
Step 1: Bring this huge track mounted drill up the canyon.
Step 2: Drill 2 caisson holes down to bedrock. No easy task with all the large cobble found throughout the canyon.
Step 2: Little by little.
Step 3: Pour concrete footers on top of the caissons.
Step 3: The concrete must cure before the area is back filled.
Step 4: Once the footer is back filled, the framing for the abutments goes up.
Step 5: Bring a pump truck in and pour the abutments. Each abutment requires two concrete trucks.
Step 6: Strip the forms off and wait.
Now you can really get a feel for the final elevations. The bridge will sit in the notch and the final bridge deck height will be even with the top of the walls on the sides.
Each summer, since 1975, the Jeffco Open Space Trail Stewardship Team has employed Jefferson County youth to maintain and build trails while developing a land stewardship ethic. The program is open to all Jefferson County residents between the ages of 14 to 18. A competitive lottery every spring selects kids for these highly sought after positions. Read more about the Trail Stewardship Team.
This week a few members of the Team were onsite helping with construction of the Peaks to Plains Trail. They spent two days working in the westernmost segment of Jefferson County trail portion moving dirt, creating final grade around the railings and pulling noxious weeds. A big thanks goes out to them for all their hard work!
Evan Yardley tamps down dirt around the newly installed railing
Trail Stewardship Team members (left to right) Maggie Haddon, Carlee Shive, Andrew McInroy, Brett Lawrence, Olivia McCandle and Evan Yardley
Olivia McCandle and Andrew McInroy hard at work
Trail Stewardship Team at one of the trail’s overlooks (left to right) Andrew McInroy, Brett Lawrence, Evan Yardley, Maggie Haddon, Carlee Shive, Olivia McCandle and crew leader Sophie Scully