The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board has awarded Montrose one of the largest of five trail construction projects grants in its latest round of funding. Montrose received $2 million of the $8.9 million that GOCO awarded through its Connect Initiative, a program that is designed to close critical gaps in trails on the Western Slope and the I-70 corridor.
The grant, pursued by the City of Montrose in partnership with the Montrose Recreation District, will fund the completion of a continuous paved trail network spanning from the new Community Recreation Center (CRC) on Woodgate Road to the Colorado Outdoors development northwest of downtown Montrose. The project will construct 2.25 miles of new trail and two bike/pedestrian underpasses to cross U.S. Highway 550 and U.S. Highway 90, creating a safer, more connected community.
The existing Uncompahgre River Trail will connect the new segments and extend the walking and riding routes far south of Montrose, to recreation amenities on Sunset Mesa, and to trails extending into residential areas of the city. The connection will enable bike and pedestrian access by 86% of Montrose’s population living east of Highway 550 to the parks and trail system on the west side. A northern trail section will extend river trail access to residential areas that currently have no easy access to parks and recreation.
Design work and property acquisition for the project will continue through 2018, with project construction expected to begin in April 2019.
GOCO’s Connect Initiative will invest $28.4 million by 2020 in 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.
GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,900 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.