Major Open Space Projects Get Underway This Spring


(Aspen, CO) Pitkin County Open Space and Trails is taking advantage of the longer days and warmer temperatures of spring to continue work on two major open space projects.


Construction of the Crystal Trail between Carbondale and the BRB Campground in the Crystal River Valley has resumed. Two bridges for the pedestrian/bicycle trail will be put in place on April 14th and 15th. Minor traffic delays with one lane closures are expected on the lower sections of Highway 133 while the bridges are hoisted by crane into place. Construction of the Crystal Trail got underway last summer. The first 5.3 mile section of the trail is expected to be completed by the end of June 2010. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails is funding the lion’s share of the $3 million project with help from a $1 million Great Outdoors Colorado grant, $400,000 from Garfield County, $200,000 from the Town of Carbondale, and a $50,000 contribution from the Jelinek family.


“The Open Space Board began planning this trail sixteen years ago,” said Director of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Dale Will. “We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made on this first leg of the trail and hope to continue it along the entire length of the Crystal River Valley.”


Another major Open Space and Trails project to continue this spring is the restoration of the historic Emma General Store along Highway 82 at the Emma intersection.


“If we hadn’t purchased this property when we did the building would have either been demolished or would have fallen down. These buildings are some of the largest remaining historic structures in the valley. We hope the restoration gives the entire valley a view into Emma’s rich history,” Will said.


A State Historic Fund Grant of $278,000 combined with $100,000budgeted for the project by Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and $100,000 received from Middle Ranch in Emma will restore the roof and brick front and sides of the building. 

Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2010