HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — Repaved roads north of Highway 40 are not the only major improvements taking place in the small town of Hot Sulphur Springs this fall.
Town officials anticipate a long-awaited pedestrian bridge spanning the Colorado River will improve residents’ quality of life.
Installation of the bridge is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Sept. 26.
The new pedestrian bridge will connect Town Park on the south side of the Colorado River to Pioneer Park on the north side and has been on the town’s to-do list for longer than a decade, according to Hot Sulphur Springs Trustee Dan Nolan.
The bridge is becoming a reality after the town secured an Enhancement Grant from the Federal Highways Administration through the Colorado Department of Transportation, totaling $232,000. The town is spending $58,000 out of their conservation trust fund to match the CDOT grant. Money from the Conservation Trust Fund is generated through Colorado Lottery revenues. The town also secured a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) that will be used to provide trail and river enhancements in the area around the pedestrian bridge. The idea to build a pedestrian bridge spawned from a survey of the town’s residents, which was completed by high school students from Middle Park High School’s Grand Futures class in 2001, after the town acquired the Pioneer Park property.
The new bridge will provide better access to the two parks and will create a non-motorized trail loop for walkers, bikers, anglers, and disc-golfers. “After all of these years, we are pretty excited about the fact (the bridge) is under construction,” Nolan said.
TopKnot Engineering, based in Hot Sulphur Springs, completed the design for the bridge. The bridge is being built and installed by M3 Property Services, of Fraser.
The installation of the bridge is expected to be “quite the spectacle,” according to Hot Sulphur Springs Town Clerk Sandy White, and the town has set up an area near the water treatment facility for interested individuals to watch the installation process.
“I think this has been a long time coming and I am very excited about it,” said Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Hershal Deputy.
“Hershal has been a champion of the project right from the start,” Nolan said.
The town had to go through an extensive process, not only to secure the grant money, but also to get the project fully permitted. The town had to design the bridge and planned enhancements so they did not impact protected areas, such as protected wetlands on both sides of the proposed location.
Along with the installation of the bridge, the town will be completing “ongoing improvements to both parks and continuing to enhance the connectivity of both,” Deputy said.
“I hope it becomes an integral part of the town for the town’s residents and visitors,” he said.
Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334
“I think this has been a long time coming and I am very excited about it.”
Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Hershal Deputy.