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The Evergreen Lake North Trail Project was created in response to the Spring 2016 closure of the trail along State Highway 74 on the north side of Evergreen Lake between Upper Bear Creek Road and Evergreen Dam


Evergreen Lake North Trail Improvement

Peg Schroeder

I grew up in Colorado skiing, hiking, running and being heavily involved with children in Jefferson County while my kids were in school...

I grew up in Colorado skiing, hiking, running and being heavily involved with children in Jefferson County while my kids were in school...

Jul 25 12 minutes read

The Evergreen Lake North Trail Project was created in response to the Spring 2016 closure of the trail along State Highway 74 on the north side of Evergreen Lake between Upper Bear Creek Road and Evergreen Dam.  The trail system is located on property owned by the City and County of Denver (CCD) and managed by the Evergreen Park & Recreation District (EPRD).  The project's goal is to work with the community, stakeholders and funders to develop a long-term solution for the Evergreen Lake North Trail. Improvements to this trail segment were recommended by the 2015 Evergreen Trails Master Plan.

In recent years, sections of the steel bin wall have failed due to drainage, structural, and surface issues in the project area.  In late April 2016, after heavy spring snowfalls and runoff from the spring thaw, a significant failure of several sections of the trail occurred and posed safety issues to trail users.  Therefore, a portion of the trail was closed in late April 2016 and a process began to determine the exact nature of the failures, identify potential solutions to them, and develop a vision for moving forward. 

Below are documents to show preliminary information regarding the construction to take place in 2022:

Evergreen Lake North Trail FAQ, Updated May 2022 (PDF)

Evergreen Lake North Trail Traffic Flow (PDF) 

Project Progress:

Update 05-2022:  The project has received final permits from Jefferson County.  We are now in the final phase of obtaining concurrence to advertise the project from CDOT.  After Concurrence to Advertise is issued from CDOT, EPRD will advertise the construction project on BidNet, the Daily Journal and in the Canyon Courier. Advertisement is expected in late June with a construction contractor selected by the end of July, 2022. 

The project’s current estimated schedule includes up to 300 consecutive calendar days from the Contractor’s Notice to Proceed to complete the work with construction beginning in late summer 2022 with substantial completion of major construction activities by May 15th, 2023. Final site work and landscaping would continue through June of 2023.  The traffic detour at the project site will be in place for up to 120 consecutive calendar days between the Contractor’s Notice to Proceed and May 15th, 2023.  The contractor will propose a work schedule to EPRD once they are selected.  Please note that current conditions in the construction industry are causing volatility in pricing and availability for both materials and labor.

Project bids (expected in July) will help solidify the project scheduling and price information.  Monthly project updates are provided at the EPRD Board monthly meeting (4th Tuesday at 5 pm via Zoom).

Update 04-2022: Jefferson County’s plan review in relation to issuing Floodplain and Grading Permits that are needed for construction is ongoing. This needs to be completed before the construction project can be advertised to bidders. We have received the required yellow Jefferson County Project Notification signs and have posted them along the trail. Thanks to Heart Cameron and his crew for posting the signs and making sure they stay up! 

Our current schedule is to advertise the construction project around June of this year. We hope to have a contractor selected and under contract by July with the goal for substantial completion of construction by the end of the year. There are many factors that could affect the schedule such as construction material and labor availability.  We will know more once we have a contractor on board. 

EPRD has secured additional funding for the trail construction!  DRCOG’s Board recently has approved another $400K in funding toward the project from the TIP Subregional Waitlist.  Thank you to DRCOG! 

The construction traffic detour plan remains the same with eastbound traffic toward downtown next to the lake remaining on SH 74 and westbound traffic along the lake being detoured along Meadow Dr/Douglas Park Rd.  All roadways maintain two-way traffic with the exception of SH 74 between Upper Bear Creek Rd and the traffic light at the intersection of SH 74/CR 73.  This section of SH 74 along Evergreen Lake will be reduced to one lane with one way traffic heading east toward downtown Evergreen.  There will be significant advance signage letting motorists know about the detour and also signage reminding visitors that local businesses remain open for business!

Update 02-2022: The Evergreen Lake North Trail Project is scheduled for major construction activities in 2022 with some minor project completion activities extending into June 2023. Currently it is estimated that the project will go to construction bidding in the April-June 2022 time frame, and construction activities will begin in the July-September 2022 time frame. It is expected that major construction activities last about four months. The associated detour (southbound traffic only on SH-74 between Upper Bear Creek and CR-73; northbound traffic from downtown will use Meadow Drive to Douglas Park) will be in place during this period. The Project Engineer currently is reviewing any impacts the revised schedule will have on construction means and methods and cost estimates. EPRD also is working with representatives from the local business community to assess and address potential impacts of the project to local business and traffic. EPRD thanks the Evergreen community and project stakeholders for your valuable input and patience as we get ready to implement this major trail improvement.

Update 10-2021: EPRD has secured additional funding of $413K to help with the increased costs of materials.  Unfortunately, this has delayed the start of the project. The current timeline is to bid for a contractor in January with construction and road closures starting June 2022. Residents and visitors will still be able to access Downtown Evergreen via a detour on Meadow Drive.  The road closures are expected to last approximately four months and the entire project should be completed by May 2023.  Due to the delay in the project, community meetings will now be held March/April to discuss timelines.

Update 9-2021: We are making progress! The final design for this project is now complete. All state and federal historic and environmental reviews have been completed. The traffic control plan has also been approved. The project is expected to go to bid for a contractor in mid-late September 2021 and a contractor selected by November 2021.  We are planning for construction to begin in the first half of 2022.  This will affect traffic on Hwy 74 around the lake and residents can expect lane closures and rerouting for approximately four months from February through May 2022. The entire project is expected to take eight months. Due to additional increases in materials, EPRD is seeking additional grant funds to help with this project as the estimate is now $4.1 million for the project. To date, EPRD has secured over $3.7 in grants and matching contributions to pay for this project. EPRD is planning to have 2-3 community meetings in December/January to discuss the construction timelines that will take place. 

2021: Evergreen Park & Recreation District (EPRD) in conjunction with Evergreen Metropolitan District (EMD) finished in April a temporary repair for 6 sections of the Evergreen Lake North Trail which had been deteriorating over the years.  These are completely different sections from the ones temporarily repaired in 2017.    These repairs will protect the main water line for Evergreen residents that runs beneath the trail/road and allow for the trail to be opened for recreation. 

EPRD has been working with EMD, City and County of Denver, CDOT, and Jefferson County on a permanent, long-term improvement for the Evergreen Lake North Trail system since 2016. We currently are in the final design stage for the multi-purpose upper trail and a new lower trail, which we expect to wrap up in summer 2021.  Construction on the trail improvement and permanent solution is anticipated for summer 2022.  This has been a lengthy process and required EPRD to secure over $3.7 million in funding - primarily in grants and matching contributions in order to pay for trail improvement and repairs. The project’s goal is to not only repair the trail and protect the water line, but also improve the experience for all users of the trail for generations to come.  EPRD is grateful to its local partners, Evergreen Metro District, and Evergreen Legacy Fund, for their contributions toward the project, and also to the entire Evergreen community for its patience through this major undertaking. 

2020:  During 2020 we finalized the design for both the upper and lower trails. Final design reviews will occur in early 2021 to stay on track for an anticipated summer 2022 construction schedule. 

2019:  Initiated the last phase of planning for Phase 3 final design and engineering of trail's long-term solution. Continued collaborative process with CCD, CDOT, Evergreen Metropolitan District, and Jefferson County.  Filed grant applications and raised funds for construction of the long-term trail improvement recommended in the Phase 2 Planning Study.   

2018: OV Consulting conducted a planning study to develop a community-supported vision for the long-term trail solution. Two community meetings were held in 2018 (January and May) to help develop trail alternatives for the long-term solution. The Phase 2 Planning Study Final Report was completed in September 2018.

2017: Closed portion of the Evergreen Lake North trail was reopened for public use.  The trail maintenance and repairs conducted to reopen the trail are not intended to be a long-term solution.  The trail may be closed for periods of time if repairs or improvements are warranted in the future. Phase 1 Preliminary Engineering Study was conducted by Muller Engineering Company to develop baseline information and conduct geotechnical, civil, geometric, drainage, and structural engineering analysis. 

2016: In April 2016, the Evergreen Lake Trail was closed by Evergreen Park & Recreation District due to unstable conditions. EPRD amassed more than $400,000 to repair the trail in the short-term and design a trail improvement for the long-term.  

Project Documents:

Meeting Documents:


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