Salida Siding Trail Project Public Meeting

The City of Salida invites you to a public meeting February 9th, 2012 at 5:30 pm at the Salida SteamPlant to discuss the Salida Siding Trail Project and the River Corridors Initiative Project grant with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).  The project and grant process will be described, a power point presentation will show the project in detail and plenty of time will be available for questions and input.

The City of Salida and her partners are applying for this unique and most likely once in a lifetime opportunity to realize our long term vision of transforming the abandoned railroad yard into a public riverside recreation and natural area in the heart of Salida and to provide legal access to our trails and public lands to the north.

The Salida Siding Trail Project includes the purchase of 14.03 acres of land from the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) for a 1 mile non-motorized trail corridor along the north side of the river, a pedestrian underpass below the tracks, a wildlife friendly fence along the public trail, an upstream pedestrian bridge across the Arkansas River connecting to the City’s Marvin Park, fishing/picnic/seating areas, river bank stabilization, and a parking lot and restroom.

City officials and interested individuals have been working for many years with the UPRR to acquire legal access across and along the Railroad property to alleviate a trespassing issue across the tracks, which are currently inactive.  The City has not, until this point, been financially able to pursue the UPRR’s offer to sell the property.  Fortunately, however, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) introduced a new River Corridors Initiative with funding of up to $32 million for large-scale projects centered around river-based recreation and open space.  The Salida Siding Project concept was accepted by GOCO and the City of Salida has been invited to submit a full application for this initiative by March 16, 2012.

The project will have a significant impact on downtown Salida serving as an attraction for visitors seeking access to the river and the miles of trails adjacent to downtown.  With this project, visitors will now have a substantial and accessible parking lot to use while they spend the morning fishing or hiking and then walk into downtown for lunch.  This recreation amenity in the heart of our downtown will bolster our reputation as a destination with a variety of easily accessible activities including recreation, entertainment and the arts, shopping and dining.

The total project cost is approximately $3.6 million.  The City Council has pledged to financially help the project with Conservation Trust Funds.  Additional funding, as well as in-kind support, is being sought from other partners.

We encourage everyone interested to please come help us significantly improve and enhance the quality, utility and appreciation of the Arkansas River corridor in the heart of Salida.

Dara MacDonald, Community Development Director