Oxbow Park construction could start in 2018

Parks and Rec board approves budget recommendations

Construction on a boat ramp and other improvements at Oxbow Park could start in 2018. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald file

Construction on a boat ramp and other improvements at Oxbow Park could start in 2018.

Highly anticipated river-access construction at Oxbow Park could start in 2018.

It was one of several large projects included in the recommended budget that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board approved Wednesday.

The Durango City Council will review the recommendations and approve a final budget later this year.

The advisory board set aside $850,000 for the first phase of construction at Oxbow Park. If approved, construction could start in 2018 and continue in 2019, Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz said.

The project has been designed, and it will include paved parking, a boat ramp, restrooms and changing space, city drawings show. Oxbow Park currently doesn’t have any parking.

The city plans to discuss strategies for building the project in phases with a contractor, Metz said.

The proposed budget also anticipates investing in new facilities for volleyball, tennis and Lake Nighthorse.

The city may build two sand volleyball courts in Schneider Park next year to replace courts removed to make way for the Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility.

Metz discussed the plan for the courts with members of the volleyball community before Wednesday’s meeting, and they are happy with the plan for courts, she said. In the future, they would like to have four lit courts for competitions.

“We’re starting to define some of these community needs,” she said.

The board also proposed setting aside an additional $450,000 for the four new lit tennis courts at Fort Lewis College. The city already set aside $4.35 million for the tennis courts and softball fields at the college.

The tennis courts and fields are part of a 50-year lease agreement that the city has with Fort Lewis College.

The proposed budget also includes $300,000 for a breakwater and courtesy dock at Lake Nighthorse and $800,000 to rebuild 1,215 linear feet of the Animas River Trail behind River City Hall, near the intersection of Camino del Rio and 12th Street.

Safety improvements to the Animas River Trail, including striping in congested areas, is underway, and it is likely to be completed in the next few days, Parks and Cemetery Manager Scott McClain said.

The city is also installing new yield signs for those merging from spur trails to the Animas River Trail.

A one-year trial for electric bikes on the Animas River Trail will likely start soon after safety improvements are finished, Metz told the board.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

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