shutterstock_384507622As part of a stormwater mitigation project in east Colorado Springs, the city has announced plans to create a fat bike trail that will run along Sand Creek near Platte Avenue.

The new .5 mile-section of multi-use pathway, which is being specifically designed for fat bikes, is part of a larger stormwater channel stabilization project along Sand Creek intended to protect Platte Avenue Bridge and the surrounding area, according to a Nov. 29 news release from the city. The project provided workers an opportunity to convert an old maintenance road into the fat bike trail, which representatives from the city have said will create no additional cost to Colorado Springs citizens.

“The area has an access road that provides an opportunity for multi-use trails,” said city spokesperson Kim Melchor. “This is the first one we’re working on. … It represents a unique opportunity that we want people to explore, so we can see if it is feasible for other locations.”

Melchor said the trail is being designed specifically for fat bikes because of sand and other debris in the area, which could make riding more difficult for other users.

The trail will be located where Sand Creek crosses Platte Avenue at Babcock Road (between Powers Boulevard and Wooten Road), according to the release. More details on the trail will become available as the channel stabilization project goes into its design phase this January, according to the release. The project is one of nine currently being funded via an inter-governmental agreement between Colorado Springs and Pueblo County that is designed to identify and address issues related to stormwater management.

“This is an example of the many opportunities where we can capitalize on existing stormwater infrastructure projects that will not only reduce flooding, but will also provide an amenity to the public that when designed will not negatively impact the environment,” according to Colorado Springs Stormwater Manager Richard Mulley. “Enhancing an existing project maintenance trail or utilizing naturalistic components can create an environment that is both functional and fun.”

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According to a project timeline included in the release, the city expects construction of the trail (and channel stabilization) to begin next winter and finish up during the summer of 2018. The total estimated project cost (for channel stabilization and trail creation) is $5.29 million.

The city plans to host a public event Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for citizens to explore the site via fat bike and provide input to local officials, according to the release. Colorado Springs-based Borealis Fat Bikes will provide test bikes for people who don’t already own one. Attendees are directed to park in the lot behind the Colorado Springs Flea Market (5225 E. Platte Ave.).