Fraser closes in on final draft of Fraser River Corridor Master Plan
March 12, 2018
The Fraser Board of Trustees received a near-final draft of the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan during its regular meeting Wednesday night. Brandon Parsons of THK Associates, the design lead on the project, gave a presentation outlining recommendations for the corridor.
The draft represents a significant step forward for the project, which began in August 2017, and has since seen numerous stakeholder interviews, public workshops, online surveys and presentations to the board.
The project in its totality is meant to create a community-driven vision for the Cozen's Ranch Open Space, creating strategies to activate 120 acres of open space located south of downtown Fraser on the east side of Highway 40, including the Fraser River Trail and the Lions Ponds area. The plans include recommendations in regards to environmentalism, recreation, maintenance, programing, branding and funding.
Key elements of the master plan include increased trail connectivity to nearby neighborhoods and creating a network of loop trails. The document also outlines measures for reducing trail conflicts between cyclists, pedestrians, dogs and wildlife via signage, traffic calming mechanisms to slow cyclist speeds and trimming vegetation to increase visibility.
Along the river there will be an increase in both formal and informal access points, as well as an uptick in restrooms, wildlife overlooks, picnic areas, educational signage, recycling cans and pet waste stations.
The most significant changes will take place in the Lions Pond area. Parsons detailed a 21-point activation plan beginning with a gateway feature at the Highway 40 and Frontage Road intersection to attract visitors, and improved parking areas to accommodate them. Along with a series of trails and gathering areas by the ponds, notable features include a natural playground, a sloped amphitheater which could double as a sledding hill in the winter, and a small bike playground intended for children learning to ride mountain bikes.
The plan also identifies six individual projects: the Riverside Park, Western Regional Trail, GCWSD fishing ponds, pedestrian bridge crossing, hiking trails and Rendezvous Road trailhead. Combined the projects will cost more than $6.5 million, inflated by the $4.1 million Riverside Park, though the projects will come in phases.
The town will rely on grants for funding, and the plan provides a number of grants the town can apply for from Great Outdoors Colorado, Trout Unlimited, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the state historic fund and several others.
The board of trustees could approve final plans for the project as early as their next meeting on March 21, with construction in the Lions Pond area beginning as early as this summer.
The Fraser Board of Trustees signed off on a resolution to execute a contract with Nick's Dirtworks for the construction of the town's new recycling and pay-as-you-throw trash facility at their regular meeting last week.
The town put out a request for bids on Feb. 9, and received only one response from Nick's Dirtworks out of Fraser. The facility, dubbed The Drop, is expected to cost just under $200,000, all of which should be covered by a $194,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The Drop will be located on a two-acre plot of land off County Road 72. Construction is expected to begin later this month, with a completion date set for late June.