A substantial northern extension of the Animas River Trail could be coming in 2017, but only if the city gets a sizable state grant.
The 4,000-foot addition will start at the current terminus of the trail at Animas City Park and run to Oxbow Park and Preserve, according to city documents.
The construction for the project is estimated to cost $2.7 million. The Parks and Recreation Department plans to request $750,000 in grant money from Great Outdoors Colorado for the project. The Durango City Council approved the grant application Tuesday night.
Without the grant money, the city will still build the trail, but likely it would be delayed.
The trail segment will be built immediately adjacent to the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tracks, within an easement secured from the railroad.
The 10-foot-wide concrete trail segment is expected to need some retaining walls and potentially up to two short sections of bridge to minimize disturbance to wetlands. It also will require fencing to physically separate trail users from the railroad tracks and dark sky lighting.