by Terri Wiebold
Douglas County recently awarded a bid for the trail construction portion of the East-West Regional Trail expansion project, which once complete, will form one continuous trail from Highway 85 east to the Bluffs Regional Park.
According to Douglas County Parks and Trails Planner, Randy Burkhardt, the County is still working through bonding and insurance issues with the contractor and hopes to start trail construction through the Highlands Ranch Back Country Wilderness Area by mid-to-late November, weather permitting.
The new trail will be a mixture of six-foot wide natural-soil surface trail in the middle section, which will begin at the southern underpass of the existing trail at Monarch Boulevard and run west through the Highlands Ranch Back Country Wilderness Area and connect to the existing trail at Griggs Road.
The eastern and western sections will be eight-foot wide crushed rock soft surface trail and will start at the northern underpass of the existing trail at Monarch Boulevard and run north and then east until connecting with the trail at the Bluffs Regional Park and extending the existing trail just south of Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch and continuing west and then north until reaching Santa Fe (Hwy 85) near Highlands Ranch Parkway.
Also in the works are bidding contracts for the bridges portion of the project. Burkhardt said they hope to have that process completed by late spring or early summer.
For additional information about the expansion project, call Randy Burkhardt at 303-663-6226. To read more about the trail and view a map of the proposed expansion, go to