- Community and Economic Development
- Crested Butte to Crested Butte South multimodal trail planning
Crested Butte to Crested Butte South multimodal trail planning
Welcome to the Crested Butte to Crested Butte South Multimodal Trail Connection Project!
Gunnison County is beginning the planning and community outreach for a new multimodal trail connection between Crested Butte and Crested Butte South (CB – CB South) in the Highway 135 corridor. This trail connection has been identified as an important project by the County for over a decade, and in 2022 it was included in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan and Strategic Plan. A key goal of this multimodal trail is to create a safe bike and pedestrian connection to services and communities between CB and CB South, while also supporting community goals around reduced vehicular trips and greenhouse gas emissions.
In the spring of 2023, Gunnison County hired Design Workshop to support community engagement and trail design. Design Workshop is being supported by Collins Engineering, Colorado Wildlife Sciences, and True North Surveying. The Design Workshop team will complete the project in phases, each with a focus on technical data and community feedback.
Community engagement lies at the heart of this project. We firmly believe that the input and involvement of local residents, businesses, and stakeholders are invaluable for shaping a multimodal trail that meets the needs and aspirations of our community. Through a series of focus groups and public meetings we will actively seek your ideas, concerns, and suggestions. See our schedule below for more information on when and how to get involved.
The project is divided into four different phases, with three Engagement Windows for the community to provide input on the multimodal trail alignment and design. The plan process will result in a vision for the corridor between the communities of Crested Butte and Crested Butte South that reflects the shared values and goals established during engagement sessions with community members and local officials. It will identify strategies for implementation and phasing, as well as provide materials to be used in pursuit of funding opportunities. Residents of Gunnison County will be invited to share their input throughout the plan’s development.
Phase 1: Project Visioning + Alignment focuses on creating a clear baseline understanding of the area. The team will complete focus group meetings with key stakeholders, including the STOR Committee, local landowners, and the CB South POA. In addition, existing conditions data related to the land will be compiled into a series of base maps to illustrate key land characteristics, such as topography and land uses.
Phase 2: Conceptual Trail Alignment is when the initial concepts for the trial alignment will be completed. A Community Open House will be held in the early fall to gather community input about the potential alignment options.
Phase 3: Action Plan for Project Implementation focuses on creating a roadmap for Gunnison County through multimodal trail completion. This will identify potential funding sources as well as next steps in design and technical coordination that is needed to construct the multimodal trail.
Phase 4: Document Preparation is the final phase. A final schematic design document will detail the work completed, and the preferred design alternative. The team will share the plan with the community, as well as elected and appointed officials, for final comments before adoption.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the Highway 135 corridor like today?
Crested Butte and Crested Butte South are connected by a 7.5 mile stretch of Highway 135, which carries an average of 7,000 vehicles each day. It is the only paved year-round access to Crested Butte. Along this stretch of Highway 135 are multi-generational ranch lands, industrial land uses, housing developments, wildlife and the Slate and East Rivers. At full build-out, CB South is anticipated to have 2,600 residents, not including anticipated future development in subdivisions like Whetstone and North Village.
How will organizations like CDOT and CPW be involved?
In order to successfully bring this project to fruition, close coordination with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is imperative. The County and Design Workshop team will work with these organizations to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines.
Highway 135 is a CDOT road, so any design that impacts or changes the Highway will require review and coordination with CDOT. By working with CDOT, we can integrate the trail into the existing transportation infrastructure, enhancing connectivity and accessibility for all users. Depending on the proposed alignment, specific technical requirements from CDOT may need to be incorporated, such as how trail crossings align with the right-of-way.
There is a rich mix of flora and fauna align the corridor, and special attention to minimize disturbance to critical natural lands is important. Collaboration with CPW will guarantee that the trail is designed and implemented in a manner that minimizes any potential impact on wildlife habitats and preserves the ecological integrity of the region.
How will a final proposed alignment be determined?
The consultant team will review existing conditions information, such as the topography of the land, agricultural operations, drainage patterns, river locations, wildlife, and existing access points to private property. It is important the multimodal trail design takes these factors into consideration, but equally important is hearing from the community what the trail should look and feel like. Based on the technical data and initial understanding from community engagement efforts, the design team will create trail alignment options for community feedback. A final proposed alignment and schematic design will be completed based on the community input and technical input from stakeholders like CDOT. The Board of County Commissioners will be asked to adopt the final document that identifies the preferred alignment.
Will the trail require crossing private property?
The multimodal trail alignment is not known at this time. The team’s analysis will consider what space exists in the existing Highway 135 right-of-way and how that could be used to provide a safe pedestrian and bike trail. The team will also meet with property owners along the corridor to understand their goals, ideas and concerns about the specific alignment as it relates to their property.
How might this project be implemented?
Once this project is completed, the County will need to move forward with detailed design documentation and construction documentation. The County will also explore state and federal grant opportunities to support construction of the multimodal trail. Additional environmental analysis may be required prior to construction.
How can I learn more?
You can get in touch with the project team by emailing Cathie Pagano (email@example.com) or Martin Schmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org).