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ATTENTION RAFTERS/KAYAKERS/BOATERS​

There is a mandatory takeout at Placer Flats — located on US 6 at Mile Post 260.5. The takeout at Cannonball Flats is also closed for the season. The creek is closed and impassable at this point. An update will be distributed when or if the mandatory takeout is lifted.

The Project Team would like to thank all the rafting companies and private individuals who utilize this part of Clear Creek, for their cooperation during construction. Crews are still working on the general construction of this trail.

In January 2014, construction began on additions to the Peaks to Plains Trail, which runs alongside US 6 through Clear Creek and Jefferson counties. Once completed, the project will provide new and expanded recreational opportunities for the cycling, hiking, angling, kayaking, climbing and prospecting communities, as well as other outdoor enthusiasts.

The Peaks to Plains trail will include the following:
• 3 miles of new concrete trail
• Three bridges crossing Clear Creek
• At least eight improved water access points
• Additional parking spaces at the Oxbow Parcel trailhead in Clear Creek County

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Information Team for the Peaks to Plains Trail project.

Phone: 303-569-9972
Email: [email protected]
peaks2plains.wordpress.com

A map of the takeout and project zone are forthcoming.
 

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Thanks for the update. What are the long term plans for the bridges over the creek? Will the supports for the bridges be only on the bank or in the river itself? These in-river supports can create serious safety issues for various types of boaters. At which water level will boaters not have room to pass under the bridges? Please advise your plans for changing the landscape of this river for the good of the general public when so many of us use the river right now.


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I assume all the low bridges are temporary for construction equipment and that any permanent bridges will be plenty high and passable; please correct that if there are to be permanent impassable bridges, so it can be properly addressed.

Is this trail eventually going all the way to Golden? I would be concerned for the river bed modifications that seem likely to do that, though it would be nice to bike shuttle any of the good sections down canyon.

Why is it closed as opposed to just mandatory portages? ARE there real issues, or is this just lawyers telling them to CYA? It would be a shame not to be able to float Lawson to Golden at high flows.
 

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Thanks for posting.

Your message is not very clear on exactly what section of river is closed. My assumption is that the creek is impassable at one single point and that above and below are OK. I would recommend that for futher communcations you spell out exactly how much of the creek is impacted. Easy for folks to misconstrue if you are not clear in your wording.

I would word it as... the creek is closed at X spot due to Y construction. The creek is navigable downstream and an alternate takeout Z upstream should be used or something to that effect.

Also, as a project looking to improve recreational access, I would say that negatively impacting navigation on the creek during a known major recreational use time is a pretty poor project plan. Even temporary structures and issues can and should be constructed so that they do not impede recreational use during the very short runoff duration.

I continue to be amazed by the lack of foresight that many agencies have when they close down sections of a heavily used creek during prime runoff.
 

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Thanks for posting.

Your message is not very clear on exactly what section of river is closed. My assumption is that the creek is impassable at one single point and that above and below are OK. I would recommend that for futher communcations you spell out exactly how much of the creek is impacted. Easy for folks to misconstrue if you are not clear in your wording.

I would word it as... the creek is closed at X spot due to Y construction. The creek is navigable downstream and an alternate takeout Z upstream should be used or something to that effect.

Also, as a project looking to improve recreational access, I would say that negatively impacting navigation on the creek during a known major recreational use time is a pretty poor project plan. Even temporary structures and issues can and should be constructed so that they do not impede recreational use during the very short runoff duration.

I continue to be amazed by the lack of foresight that many agencies have when they close down sections of a heavily used creek during prime runoff.
Agreed. I emailed them our concerns like they asked... not sure they will check back here.
 

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I know this isn't a great stretch of whitewater, but it is one of the few beginner runs and a play run down to Mayhem Gulch after running Upper CC.


In listening to the ph message at the number noted, it sounds like the bridges will come out when the water goes up.


I called back and spoke with someone to let them know that folks want to use this stretch and can we find away to allow passage or portage. She was very nice and said she would look into and call me back.


I also found this site on the web, Construction starts on Peaks to Plains trail segment | Bicycle Colorado, but it is unclear to me, if they plan to go all the way down the canyon or if there is some cutoff?

There is also supposed to be a www.p2ptrail.com website, but it doesn't work?
 

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To add to this, in regards to section of upper clear creek that runs underneath the bridge at the 119 and US 6 junction. What looks like the bike path, is extremely low to the water line and has changed the rivers structure at this point. It constrains the river making it narrow, this will not affect paddlers as they can take a far left line. However I have a hard time believing that, at high water, the creek will not over top the banks of the path. Right now it is just earthen work, possibly clay compact laid on boulders. I work in civil and environmental design and if in fact the creek tops this section you will have an erosion problems. Especially if it happens before concrete is laid on the path. Just an FYI and something I am sure you have considered. Also, you did change the rivers structure, even if it does not create a hazard, you should report it to the paddling community and address in your public awareness plan.
 

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Try peaks2plains.wordpress.com (link at bottom of first post), there is more info included in that website.

I think the original plan was to have the 3 temporary bridges removed by runoff, but that has not happened. The permanent bridges were designed with boaters in mind.

This phase of construction will open up five river access points with parking. My opinion is losing access to a very lightly used section for one season is worth the improved access, scouting, parking and shuttle opportunities when completed.

My concern is how narrow the riverbed is now just upstream of Hywy 119/6 junction.

The long-term plan is for this trail to connect with existing trail in Golden and at Kermits. No one seems to know the timing or funding to completion.
 

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Try peaks2plains.wordpress.com (link at bottom of first post), there is more info included in that website.

I think the original plan was to have the 3 temporary bridges removed by runoff, but that has not happened. The permanent bridges were designed with boaters in mind.

This phase of construction will open up five river access points with parking. My opinion is losing access to a very lightly used section for one season is worth the improved access, scouting, parking and shuttle opportunities when completed.

My concern is how narrow the riverbed is now just upstream of Hywy 119/6 junction.

The long-term plan is for this trail to connect with existing trail in Golden and at Kermits. No one seems to know the timing or funding to completion.
I have not been up there yet to see what is going on. What is your concern? Fast water? Too narrow for rafts?
 

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I have not been up there yet to see what is going on. What is your concern?
Actually my concern was addressed on the linked website.
Driving up to Loveland at least once a week all winter, I could see the construction just upstream of the Highway Junction (6/119) and they made the creek VERY narrow between the two bridges. Looked to me to be too narrow for a cataraft.

But on the website, they said it was 13' wide temporarily to accommodate heavy equipment and the final width would be 8'. There are very few places on this phase that will be that close to the creek.

It is a bit frustrating to not be able to find out any info on future phases of this trail. I understand it is an expensive project and funding is not in place. But I question the logic of starting in the middle. There will be very little parking and no legal bike or hike access from either Golden or Kermits. Seems to me that on weekends, there will be a lot of parking issues and bikes on Highway 6 making the short connection to Kermits, where the trail continues to Loveland Ski Area.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Answers to Queries

Good morning!

Apologies for the late reply. We were working to get some responses to your questions from our project team.

Here are some notes for you:

- The low bridges are temporary. There will be permanent bridges in relatively the same locations as the temporary crossings we currently have, with the exception being the crossing at Mile Post 261.56 (there is no permanent bridge at that location).

- We are hoping to keep the temporary bridges in the creek during runoff. If it appears there is going to be a safety concern, we will remove them. No one knows definitively how the creek will behave, so we will be sure to monitor the creek.

- The abutments (supports) will only be on the banks. Attached are a "before" photo and "after" conceptual drawing of what the area with the bridge will look like.

- All the bridges have been designed to not be overtopped by a 100-year flood event and less. The freeboard (the room between the lowest portion of the bridge and the water level) on the bridges varies between 4.3 feet and 5.6 feet in a 50-year flood event. All bridges have a minimum of 6 feet during a 5-year flood event.

We had also received a question about why this was planned during runoff and at the most easily accessed run for Denver. Due to permitting and an incredibly difficult working terrain, this is when we can and must get this work done.

We absolutely appreciate the understanding and patience of the rafting community; you are a passion group, and we are looking forward to creating a safe and exciting trail experience for you and all outdoors enthusiasts in this area.

Please let us know if you have any other questions. We will check this thread periodically, and you can also reach us at 303-569-9972 and [email protected].

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Creek Open Past MP 262.25

Addendum: We had received a question about where the river "opens" beneath the bridge.

The entire river below the work going on at the Mayhem Gulch parking lot is open this season. We have basically closed the river between Placer Flats and Mayhem Gulch/Centennial Cone parking lot. The US 6 Mile Post where the creek is "open" again is after 262.25.
 

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Rich's concern about over use and lack pf parking seem quite valid, with the trail only existing in the middle of the canyon, leaving no choice but to drive there to use the new trail. Are there new, bigger lots planned?
 

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Has the trail work in Clear Creek Canyon been abandoned? I understand the safety issues of construction during high water, but high water has been over for more than a month. If construction has been abandoned, when will the temporary bridges be removed? I tried to find this info on the P2PTrail website, but it has not been updated in quite awhile.

I am a big fan of multiuse trails and would love to have a trial from Golden to Kermits, but have been really disappointed in the lack of communication with the public. Depending where you look the approved and funded trail is either 3 miles or 5 miles. Completion dates vary from Summer 2015 to Summer 2016. There is no info available on future trail alignment or schedule.

I question the logic of starting the trail in the middle with no firm plans for completion on either end. Since bikes are not allowed on US 6 thru the Canyon, when this segment of trail does open, the only access will be the very few parking spaces at Mayhem Gulch. Finishing the few miles to Kermits would be the logical next step to provide access and parking, but Clear Creek County does not seem to have funding for that segment.

Major construction is always a big short term inconvenience, but with long term benefits. It would be helpful if there was more communication of plans and schedule.
 

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The bike path update would be great, but at least get the bridges out of the water. Surely, we wont have to deal with this river closing bike path construction again next year, right?
 

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Not only are the 3 temporary bridges still in the water from last year, but they have added two more. Have seen several private and commercial trips just upstream. The semi-temporary bridges are not boatable and appear to be very dangerous to boaters.

This section of bike trail was supposed to open in June 2015, delayed till June 2016, but very little progress this winter. Bridges that were set 2 months ago still have no decks, no permanent guard rails on most of the trail.

I drive by 3 or 4 time per week and rarely see more than a few people working on the trail. I suspect they will abandon the project for most of the summer as they did last year.
 

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P2PTrail:
The temporary bridges are dangerous now and you will be unable to get them out as the water jumps in the next two weeks. I hope the bridges don't kill anyone.


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This is pretty much bullshit. The paddling community has been patient and understanding, but the time has come to get these out now.

Peaks To Plains Trail
Public Information Team
303.569.9972

The info phone number isn't even for this project.
 
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