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News: Features & Opinions Article
Date: November 24, 2014
Apex Park Fully Reopens - All trails open to the public following flood recovery efforts
by Tim Sandsmark, Lookout Region Supervisor, Jeffco Open Space
A helicopter was used to deliver the staff-built bridge decks to the park for final assembly and installation. Apex Park (Jefferson County Open Space).
Apex Park fully reopened on Monday, Nov. 24 for the first time since the devastating floods of September 2013.
Jeffco Open Space staff installed several bridges and abutments last week on lower Apex Trail, which was the only remaining area closed. To maximize efficiency and effectiveness, a helicopter was used to deliver the staff-built bridge decks to the park for final assembly and installation. Visitors can now access all 9.5 miles of trail at the popular 697-acre park.
With the full reopening, odd-day directional travel by mountain bikers will be reinstated on Apex, Argos and Enchanted Forest trails, as had been in effect prior to the flooding events.
The flood event severely damaged 3.8 miles – roughly 40 percent – of the trails at Apex Park, which was one of two Jeffco Open Space Parks closed in its entirety. Using a phased approach to recovery, staff and volunteers repaired washed-out segments of the Apex, Pick ‘N Sledge, Sluicebox, Enchanted Forest, Hardscrabble, Grubstake, Bonanza, Poco Calle and Argos trails.
Community support and staff dedication were vital to the recovery effort. Volunteers put in a total of 906 hours during 16 separate projects to reopen the Park for public enjoyment.
“We appreciate everybody’s patience and all the great support we’ve had from volunteers and trail users,” said Kim Frederick, Trail Services Supervisor for Jeffco Open Space. “We’re looking forward to completing flood recovery at other locations.”
Remaining repairs on the Mustang and Wrangler’s Run trails at White Ranch Park will continue during the winter as weather conditions allow. The projection to open those trails, as well as the Mesa Top Trail at North Table Mountain Park, is late spring or early summer 2015. Work is also ongoing on a formalized trailhead on the east side of Apex Park, which is slated to open in spring 2015.
For a bird’s eye view of bridge installation, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gp0CAeMoxA
Apex Park at Jeffco Open Space
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