FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – Plans to expand a popular recreation path in the high country are delayed due to historic avalanches that have damaged the proposed route. The section of trail links Copper Mountain to the base of Fremont Pass through Tenmile Canyon.

An image of one of the avalanches near Tenmile Creek close to Copper Mountain (credit: Brandon Maki)

According to Summit County officials, construction of the three-mile-long segment bypassing a narrow section of Highway 91 near Copper Mountain is being delayed until 2020.

(credit: CBS)

Construction was originally planned for 2019.

As CBS4 covered extensively, avalanches in the area caused substantial damage to utilities and deposited significant amounts of debris across the project area.

(credit: CBS)

“This is a disappointing setback for the project,” Summit County Open Space & Trails Director Brian Lorch said. “However, we understand the need to postpone construction to address utility damage along the alignment.”

(credit: CBS)

The Federal Highway Administration, which is leading the project on behalf of Summit County, informed the county and U.S. Forest Service that it now plans to bid the project during fall 2019, with construction occurring in 2020. Delaying the project will allow time for utility companies to clear debris, fully assess damage to their infrastructure and make the necessary repairs before the new segment is constructed.

(credit: CBS)

“We also wish to remind everyone that the Tenmile Canyon Recpath between Frisco and Copper Mountain remains closed to the public,” Open Space & Trails Resource Specialist Jason Lederer said. “The Tenmile Canyon Recpath runs beneath 25 avalanche paths in the Tenmile Range, which have been historically active this season. We ask you to respect all closures, especially during this uniquely destructive season.”

Matt Kroschel

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