(Fort Collins, Colorado) – On December 10 at 10 a.m., the City of Fort Collins will celebrate the opening of the newest section of paved recreational trail in Fort Collins, and the final link of Fossil Creek Trail. This highly anticipated 1.7-mile stretch connects the east and west sides of Fort Collins and expands the multimodal trail system to include more than 36 miles of paved trail. The ceremony will take place on the west side of the BNSF Railway tunnel underpass.
Fossil Creek Trail – The missing link
Construction of the $4.5 million Fossil Creek Trail extension project began in 2016. This 1.7-mile addition of paved trail extends from College Avenue to Shields Street and Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area. Fossil Creek Trail navigates through four Fort Collins Natural Areas: Cathy Fromme Prairie, Pineridge, Redtail Grove, and Two Creeks Natural Areas.
Kurt Friesen, director of City of Fort Collins Park Planning and Development says, “the final segment of Fossil Creek Trail represents a culmination of more than 20 years of work and partnerships,” and that “the trail provides a significant connection between the east and west sides of Fort Collins.”
Partnerships & Funding
The City of Fort Collins partnered with numerous entities to complete the Fossil Creek Trail project. City of Fort Collins Park Planning and Development worked with Interwest Consulting Group to design the connecting trail, and J-2 Contracting Company, the general contractor, to construct the trail. Artist Steve Shacman was selected by Art In Public Places to design and construct the “Fossil Creek Sphere”, an eight-foot wide spherical stone piece to be placed along the trail. Art In Public Places is a City of Fort Collins program that encourages and enhances artistic expression and appreciation and aims to add value to the Fort Collins community through acquiring, exhibiting, and maintaining public art.
A key component to the Fossil Creek Trail extension is the railway underpass that runs beneath the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. The tunnel is 14-feet in diameter and is lit by a solar panel located near the east entrance. The City of Fort Collins worked in conjunction with BNSF Railway, Lithos Engineering, BT Construction, and Connell Resources to tunnel beneath the functioning railway tracks. This construction element allows for the trail to connect from the west side of Fort Collins to College Avenue. The project began in 2013 and construction was completed in August 2017. In total, the tunnel project cost $3 million, $1 million of which was funded by a grant provided by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
The City of Fort Collins welcomes the public to celebrate the completion of Fossil Creek Trail on Monday, December 10 at 10 a.m. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place along the Fossil Creek Trail at the BNSF Railway underpass. Attendees are invited to travel by bike or foot along the trail. Parking is available at Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area and Fossil Creek Park. Mayor Troxell, Councilmember Kristin Stephens, and others will share their comments about the completion of the trail. The ceremony is scheduled two days prior to Winter Bike to Work Day, which takes place on December 12.
For more information about the Fossil Creek Trail project and the opening ceremony, visit fcgov.com/parkplanning.