Grand Lake streetscape project gets $750k boost from DOLA |

Grand Lake streetscape project gets $750k boost from DOLA

This conceptual drawing, part of Grand Lake's streetscape master plan, shows roughly what portions of the town may look like after work is completed.
Courtesy photo

It may be winter in the High Country but thanks to a grant for $750,000 officials from Grand Lake are already planning for the summer construction season and phase three of the town’s multi-phase streetscape project.

Late last year, in December, officials from the Town of Grand Lake received notification from Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs, more commonly known as DOLA, that Grand Lake had been selected as the recipient of a $750,000 DOLA grant earmarked for the town’s ongoing streetscape project. The town applied for the grant initially in August of 2018 and made a presentation to DOLA’s grant committee in November.

The $750,000 DOLA grant is a reimbursement grant. As such the town of Grand Lake will incur expenses related to the streetscape project up front before applying for reimbursement on qualified expenses. The funds will be applied to phase three of the project, which the town will look to tackle during summer 2019.

Phase three of the project will see construction on Hancock Street and Park Avenue with most of the work being focused on Park.

“We are planning to do work on Hancock on the far end of downtown,” Jim White, Grand Lake town manager, said. “We will come around onto Park Avenue. The work will be similar, with the exception of no boardwalks, to the drainage work we did on Grand Avenue. It ties into other drainage efforts we made in phase one.”

White said the town also plans to utilize portions of the town’s right of way to add in additional parking spaces as well as some landscaping and lighting work as well as bicycle and pedestrian pathways.

White said the town anticipates eventually digging into a fourth phase of the streetscape project. Phase four of the project will extend the town’s streetscape work from the far end of phase three, near Triangle Park, out to US Highway 34 and the entryway to Grand Lake proper.

Grand Lake’s streetscape project kicked off in earnest in 2016 after several years of planning. The Grand Lake Board of Trustees adopted the town’s streetscape master plan in early 2015. In 2016 voters in the town approved a $4.3 million bond initiative for the streetscape project that created a one-percent increase in sales tax rates in the town. Construction work on phase one of the project kicked off in summer 2017 and was followed shortly thereafter by an initial grant award from DOLA in August of that year for $500,000.

Work on phase one of the streetscape project included the replacement of large sections of the town’s boardwalk, located on both sides of Grand Avenue, as well as significant excavation work as part of a storm drain and sewer replacement efforts.

As the town prepared to tackle phase two of the project during summer 2018 the scope of work was paired back. After initially making plans to install new sewer pipes and repave Park Avenue the town opted instead to elevate Park Avenue and Vine Street as well as some scaled back utility work. Phase two included continued work no the town’s boardwalk, the installation of new segments of curb and gutter and the replacement of public lighting fixtures downtown.

White explained the town’s decision to scale back phase one as a cost related issue.

“When we got to phase two the cost estimates were coming in at a higher level than what we could afford at that time,” White said.

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