We are thrilled to report that after months of feedback from several government agencies on the Lake Loop Trail, and countless revisions and minor adjustments to the plan, we have finally arrived at a design solution that satisfies every stakeholder on the project!
The concept has evolved from a traditional surface trail with retaining walls to MSE walls to soil nailed walls to an elevated precast concrete trail, not dissimilar from the elevated trails often seen in similar creekside settings throughout the mountains.
The elevated trail accomplishes a number of important features:
1) Minimal site impact and impervious area to the site, resulting in the maximum environmental stewardship for both the site as well as Bear Creek water quality. The existing drainage on the hillside is unaffected and the flood plain impact is minimal as an elevated trail is actually preferred in floodplain design anyway.
2) Simplification of construction – The entire trail structure can be erected from offsite precast components in very little time, also contributing to minimal site impact.
3) Longevity and minimal long term maintenance – The use of precast components and elevating the trail off the surface of the ground results in the least maintenance of all of the trail options with precast concrete sections having the longest lifespan (on par with highway bridge design) of all of the design options.
4) Lowest initial and future cost – For the options that were acceptable to CDOT in their Right Of Way, this plan is the most cost effective approach, which is good considering we have a fixed budget from the GOCO grant to build. And if CDOT were ever to widen Highway 73 through this area, precast sections can easily be dismantled and relocated, leaving all options open for CDOT while preserving the major components and use of the trail.
5) Fastest construction time – with a handful of nights for lane closures, the foundation and the precast sections can be erected in a very short timeframe, contributing to minimal disturbance for residents, existing park trail users and downtown merchants.
6) All around a Better Trail – The use of precast components allows us to widen the trail to a generous 10′ from the original trail width of 6′ without any additional cost. This results in a true two-way trail on par with other Jeffco Open Space improved concrete trail systems.
7) Completely vetted with all agencies and stakeholders – the numerous iterations of the design has been a direct reaction to feedback from the agencies that hold an interest in the project: CDOT, Denver Mountain Parks, the Evergreen Metro District, Bear Creek Watershed, Jefferson County. Also, feedback from the community has also been implemented into the design and the following community organizations have been kept up to date on the progress and design iterations: The Evergreen Pathfinders, The Evergreen Downtown Business Association, Leadership Evergreen, The Evergreen Curmudgeons, The Evergreen Chamber, Team Evergreen, Our Evergreen, The Center for the Arts Evergreen, and all of the residents that have attended town hall meetings, read the Canyon Courier, commented on this website, or engaged with any of us that have been involved on the project in the last year.