HERO, the Heart of Evergreen Revitilization Organization, met again last week and had the opportunity to review a plan that was being proposed by Rocky Graziano, an active local resident in support of the downtown Evergreen trail efforts. The focus of this project is to provide an accessible connection from the existing lake trail loop at the top of the spillway to the existing path network at the bottom of the spillway.
Some may remember the bridge that was installed some years ago that clear spanned the two abutments at a very steep grade. Unfortunately, that solution did not have the opportunity for community review, and was opposed during construction on account of safety and aesthetic concerns, and subsequently was torn down. Since then, there have been dead ends at each abutment.
Rocky’s plan, funded in part by the Evergreen Parks and Recreation District, takes a different approach, and one that is more akin to the existing paths around the lake. Below is an image provided by Rocky on what he has been working on.
The path itself would have a surface of crusher fines and would be build on the grade of the existing hillside. The slope of the embankment is fairly steep, and so a series of retaining walls would need to be incorporated. A railing would also be provided to address safety at the trail edge and steps could be added at the switchback for a more direct route to the existing trails, in addition to the fully accessible route.
Recognizing that this plan is in its schematic phase, and some adjustments would likely be made, HERO is in support of the effort that Rocky has begun, and has helped to facilitate submittal and review of the plan to Jefferson County Open Space. Rocky’s estimated initial cost for this trail is only $300,000. Significantly less than the cost of other modified bridge concepts. We are now awaiting the review and comment of Jefferson County Open Space in hopes that this project can be a candidate for Open Space budget appropriation as soon as this Fall.
In the meantime, HERO is also seeking community support for this project. The EPRD has hired an independent group to administer phone surveys over the course of the Summer to determine the level of community support, and HERO would also like to help to gather any comments and shows of support as well. Please comment on this post, and those comments will be presented as a part of HERO’s findings on this project to help shape this much needed accessible pedestrian linkage.
HERO is also involved with gathering support for the Bear Creek Trail Project through Downtown Evergreen. Rocky’s plan is one piece of the larger vision that connects all of Evergreen in a safe and beautiful way.