ECO Trails

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  • Phone: 970-328-3523
    Fax: 970-328-3539

    ECO Trails
    P.O. Box 1070
    3289 Cooley Mesa Road
    Gypsum, Colorado 81637

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ECO Trails Committee names 2013 trail supporters

Contact:  Ellie Caryl, ECO Trails Program Manager,

Jan. 2, 2014 - Three organizations were recently selected by the citizen volunteer ECO Trails Committee as this year’s ECO Trails Supporter of the Year.  The Vail Valley Medical Center’s “ThinkFirst” bike helmet give-away program was honored, as well as the joint efforts of the Federal Highway Administration and Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bridge Enterprise Program for the Dotsero bridge and trail improvements.

The awards are made annually for exceptional contributions to the regional trail system and local transportation system for the benefit of bicyclists and pedestrians.

The ECO Trails Committee chose to recognize the VVMC “ThinkFirst” program because of their efforts to improve bicycling safety through the generous donation of helmets to any child or teen that may need one.   The VVMC program is part of the national “ThinkFirst” injury prevention program whose focus is on preventing traumatic head injuries.  VVMC joined the program in 1999.  “ThinkFirst” also distributes snow sports, skate and long boarding helmets.  “In 2013, we gave away 719 bike helmets” said Kim Greene, Injury Prevention Specialist and ThinkFirst Chapter Director.  “We focus primarily on the children and youth of Eagle County and their families by conducting regular visits to area schools and participating in community outreach events using its two primary programs – ThinkFirst for Kids and ThinkFirst for Teens”.

“We provide helmets at community events for a suggested donation of $10 if they can afford it.  We never turn anyone away.  At the school program, we ask 2ndgraders to bring their helmets to school and then we replace damaged helmets and give helmets to students that don’t have already own one.” said Greene.  Greene added that she is happy to speak with anyone who would like to procure or replace a helmet for their child or teen or would like to learn more about the educational talks the program hosts for schools, clubs or any group that can benefit for learning about the risks and consequences of not wearing a helmet. 

Also honored were the Federal Highways Administration Colorado Division and the CDOT Bridge Enterprise Fund Program who were jointly selected for the Dotsero Highway 6 Bridge Replacement Project.  “The project involved replacing an older bridge that did not meet current safety specifications and flood clearance over the Colorado River “said Martha Miller, CDOT Resident Engineer in Eagle who initiated the work on the project funding and design, with Siri Roman, former CDOT engineer.  The project also incorporated improvements to the Colorado River Road in partnership with Eagle County.

The ECO Trails Committee chose to honor FHWA and CDOT for their inclusion of pedestrian and bicycling facilities in the bridge, including construction of a trail on the bridge structure that will function as a portion of the Eagle Valley Trail.  The highway across the bridge also includes wider shoulders than on the previous bridge allowing for safer sharing by vehicles and bicycles.  “The bridge is a model for new bridges in that it will be in place for 50 to 75 years.  As the county grows, including bicyclists and pedestrians in transportation design is essential for safety, for our tourist economy and to accommodate the activities enjoyed by residents” said Ellie Caryl, ECO Trails program manager. “This bridge will be incorporated into the final stretch of the Gypsum to Dotsero trail project which is one of our current trail construction projects”.

According to Pete Lombardi, Local Agency engineer for the CDOT Eagle office, CDOT’s mission to include all modes of transportation in the highway network.   The bridge was targeted for replacement by CDOT due to its limitations and the Federal Highway Administration funded the work because it is part of the Interstate 70 corridor infrastructure as an alternate route.  FHWA’s primary funding focus is to construct and upgrade the highway system but related pedestrian and bicycle facilities are also a significant component of the FHWA program. Eva LaDow and Matt Greer of FHWA were leaders on the project funding and provided essential assistance to CDOT in managing the project, according to Lombardi

ECO Trails is a partnership program between Vail, Avon, Minturn, Red Cliff, Eagle, Gypsum, Eagle County and the citizen volunteer ECO Trails Committee to complete a connected paved trail system through Eagle County with links to spur and backcountry trails, as well as working to improve bicycling on our local roadways.


cdot with peggy