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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Collaborative efforts increase safety and conservation of Telluride’s newest backcountry trail
Media Contact: Mike Bordogna, County Manager, 970.728.3844, firstname.lastname@example.org
(June 3, 2022) – San Miguel County, CO --- San Miguel County Parks & Open Space hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning, Friday, June 3, at 11 am MDT to commemorate the grand opening of the Bridal Veil Trail Bridge. The bridge, which was completed in October 2021, is 40 feet in length and 45 feet above ground sitting at 9,260 feet of elevation. The bridge opening marks the official completion of the Bridal Veil Trail, a priority trail in the Telluride Mountain Club’s Trail Sustainability Plan, that originally opened in the summer of 2020.
"The Bridal Veil Trail Bridge is a prime example of our government collaborating with a community non-profit for public benefit,” said San Miguel County Commissioner Lance Waring. “This project enhances the hiker’s experience, allowing all to enjoy the beautiful landscape that surrounds us. Special thanks to the organizations, entities, and donors who came together to make the new bridge a reality."
The Bridal Veil Trail Bridge was designed, built, and engineered by Jeff Skoloda of Skol Studio and Design and Chris Haaland of Canyon Bridge, LLC. The structure diverts the trail slightly from its original alignment, allowing hikers to cross Ingram Creek without trouble when water levels are higher during peak runoff and the unpredictable summer monsoon season. This addition allows for safe, consistent pedestrian use of the trail throughout the summer season.
"By leveraging grant funds to improve safety, accessibility, and recreational opportunities, San Miguel County enhances the quality of life for all of our residents,” said Director of San Miguel County Parks & Open Space Janet Kask. "The Telluride Mountain Club was the perfect partner for this project, as they provided matching grant funds and hired the engineer to work on the initial bridge design. It was a great collaborative project between the County and the Telluride Mountain Club.”
The project and funding were transferred from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). The Bridal Veil Trail Bridge cost a total of $130,700 which was initially funded by $60,000 in CDOT Multimodal Options Fund (MMOF) awarded grant funds through the Gunnison Valley Transportation Planning Region (GVTPR), and $70,700 in matching funds provided equally by San Miguel County and the Telluride Mountain Club.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will mark the opening of the Bridal Veil Trail for the 2022 summer season. Telluride Mountain Club tracks hiker usage through “hits,” which indicate the number of times a person passes the automated trail counter - a single hiker would count as two hits if they completed the full trail out and back. Telluride Mountain Club also tracks “hits” on the Jud Wiebe and the Via Ferrata trails in Telluride. With 57,382 hits on the trail from May 24 through October 24, 2021, and 85,324 hits from July 3 to December 8, 2020, the trail is reported to be the most popular in this area. The completion of the bridge marks a momentous occasion, bringing safer, managed access to Telluride’s backyard.