A year has passed since the historic record-setting rains and flooding along the northern Front Range of Colorado damaged towns, homes, roads and parks. Today, much of the damage has been remedied with areas of greatest impact still closed. At Apex Park, 3.8 miles or 40% of the Park’s trails were severely damaged. Community support and staff dedication has allowed the majority of the park to be reopened for public enjoyment. Portions of Apex Trail, which runs the length of the Park, have remained closed.
Earlier this year, Jeffco Open Space anticipated that the work on Apex Trail would be completed and the remaining closures lifted by September 30. That target date will not be met as elements in the process for trails recovery have been out of the agency’s control. By the end of 2013, the County committed to seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for recovery efforts. Factors that influenced the process included federal and local delays. One of the final steps in order to receive federal funding for trail restoration, an environmental assessment needed to be completed before any work could get underway. The draft environmental assessment public comment period closed on August 29, 2014 and the FEMA approval and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) could be issued as early as the end of September or as late as mid-October. With the appropriate local and state permits obtained, and federal approvals, Jeffco Open Space can then begin Apex Trail restoration as well as remaining work at White Ranch Park and North Table Mountain Park.
Trails supervisor, Kim Frederick, anticipates Apex Trail restoration can be completed by November 26, 2014 and the remainder of the Park reopened, providing the weather cooperates. The Apex Trail project will include building of abutments and placing bridges over severely washed-out treads and other restoration activity to provide a safe and enjoyable trail experience. Upon completion of Apex Trail work, the 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 realignment of the damaged Pick N’ Sledge Trail will be completed by the spring of 2015 with limited trail closures for construction. For additional information please see jeffco.us/parks/parks-and-trails or register for Apex Park emails by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the list.
I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all of you who have volunteered time over the past year towards our flood recovery efforts at Apex and elsewhere in the Open Space system. We could not have done it without you!
Lookout Region Supervisor
Jeffco Open Space