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Mt. Crested Butte rec path completion now slated to begin next summer

Aim to break ground in April

By Alissa Johnson

Despite hopes that the Mt. Crested Butte rec path would be completed this summer, construction on the final stretch between Marcellina Lane and Winterset Drive will not begin until next spring. According to town manager Joe Fitzpatrick, delays have resulted as the town worked out details related to a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) grant that will fund a large portion of the project.

CDOT awarded a grant of $922,884 to Mt. Crested Butte in December of last year. When combined with local funds, that left Mt. Crested Butte with $1,153,605 to put toward the project. But getting through the CDOT granting process has taken some time.

“Where we are right now is that we have made a few minor changes required by CDOT to our drawings. We’re very close, but we had to resubmit those and they have to approve them before they will allow us to bid [out the project to contractors],” Fitzpatrick said.

In addition, the town only recently received the intergovernmental agreement that outlines how Mt. Crested Butte will receive the grant and how subsequent reporting will take place. This kind of delay is not uncommon with CDOT.

“They have some detailed requirements on all of their projects,” Fitzpatrick said. He expects the process to be complete within the next month or so, but given that it is already September, that means it will be too late to bid and complete the project this fall.

“My goal is to break ground in the spring of 2016,” Fitzpatrick said.

If all goes as hoped, construction will begin in April and last about 90 days, though Fitzpatrick did say timing will ultimately have to be confirmed with the contractor.

“And if we have the winter the forecast people are promising us, there could be too much snow in April. That’s okay, from the point of view that we like snow,” Fitzpatrick said, but noted that snow could delay the project further. The goal is to start as early as possible and finish as efficiently as possible in order to have the rec path completed before next summer’s high tourist season.

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