Animas River, Three Springs Trail Connection in the Works

3/1/2021

Durango Parks and Recreation will launch a number of major improvements this year including Durango Mesa Park, pickleball courts at Three Springs, and completion of the Animas River Trail to Three Springs.

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Pickleball fans, get your rackets ready,

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and if you've been itching to ride or walk

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from Durango to Three Springs,

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trail improvements will

be underway this year.

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You're watching the local news network,

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brought to you by Serious Texas Bar-B-Q,

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and Durango Party Rental.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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The City of Durango will start a number

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of long awaited parks and

recreation projects in 2021.

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Including work on Durango Mesa Park,

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new pickleball courts at Three Springs

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and completions of the Animas River Trail

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from Oxbow Park to Three Springs.

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The city of Durango, La Plata County

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and the Durango Mesa Park Foundation,

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will begin design work to

upgrade the intersection

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of Colorado State Highway

3 and Ewing Mesa Road,

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to meet Colorado Department

of Transportation standards.

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The city will purchase 250 acres

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of open space in Horse Gulch,

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from the foundation for

$1.5 million this summer.

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And the foundation will use that money

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to contribute to

intersection improvements.

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Durango parks and recreation director,

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Kathy Metz, said actual

construction on the intersection

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will begin in 2022, but

once completed will provide

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the necessary access to begin construction

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on park infrastructure.

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Longtime Durango resident and businessmen,

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Mark Katz, purchased the 1800 acre park

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in 2015, with the intention

of conserving open-space

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and donating the land

to the City and County

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for cultural and recreational facilities,

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including new fairgrounds

trails and other amenities.

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Lake Nighthorse will see

improvements this year

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with the installation

of a play structure near

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the sand beach built last year.

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Metz said Nighthorse has

experienced an explosion in use

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during the pandemic, with

an increase of 30,000

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more visitors last year,

over the previous year.

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Design work will also

begin on improvements

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at the Three Springs Community Park,

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including plans for eight

outdoor pickleball courts.

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Design work is expected

to be completed this year

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with construction to begin in 2022.

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And the city's trail

system will be expanded

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in the near future.

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Construction is expected to

begin on the last connection

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on the Animas River Trail at 32nd street,

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with the purchase last

year of the property

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at 275 East 32nd street.

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Now the city purchased the property

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at 275 East 32nd street,

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which is on the corner

that you referenced.

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And in October of 2020

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and that is now allowing

the city to go forward

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with an underpass at that location

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so that the trail users will

not have to cross 32nd street

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at grade, which we know has been a problem

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with people actually being injured

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by vehicles at that intersection.

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So we're very excited about

being able to complete

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that last link of the Animas

River Trail in Durango.

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Finally, the city will begin design work

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to complete the last mile

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of the smart 160 trail connection,

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to the Animas River Trail

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at the Escalante Bridge Terminus.

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That trail will connect with

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the Three Springs Trail Terminus

underneath the high bridges

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where the Farmington

Grand View interchange

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on us highways 550 and 160 will end.

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So if you think about

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the hard surface trail network

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we will have, the entire

Animas River Trail.

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We've got lots of sections

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of the smart 160 trail already built,

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but it's just not connected.

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And so we're really setting the stage

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for an amazing trail experience,

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and that will draw people to Durango,

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because we have the hard surface system

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and then we have over a hundred miles

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of natural surface trails,

and it is a destination for

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for people to come to Durango to enjoy.

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If you'd like to learn more

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about park and recreation

capital improvements underway,

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visit the department's

website at durangogov.org.

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Thanks for watching this edition

of the local news network.

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Be sure to keep up with our latest stories

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on Instagram or Twitter

or listen to our stories

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on your favorite podcast app.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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