Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Edie Adams, Marketing
"The greatest challenge and best opportunity in this project was the need for extensive coordination between the trail designers and the BLM,” said Alex Nees, Olsson project scientist in Grand Junction, Colorado. “Trail designers have a vision of the final product that they want, but that vision doesn’t necessarily mesh easily with the BLM’s need to create environmentally-sustainable trails. And biological or cultural resources can force trails to be moved or altered at late stages in the process.”
While surveying, Olsson discovered one of the trail alignments was not feasible to construct for several reasons.
“We were able to negotiate solutions to these problems with the BLM and the trail designers, reroute the trail and keep the project on schedule, and simultaneously demonstrate our expertise, flexibility, and dedication to the project,” Nees said.
The project involved coordination and cooperation between multiple agencies, including the BLM, the City of Fruita and local businesses, Western Colorado Conservation Corps, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, the Grand Valley Trail Alliance, and others.
In December 2016, Olsson and all the cooperating agencies attended the grand opening of the first trail segment, named “Wrangler.” At the ceremony, BLM specifically referenced Olsson’s diligent work and project engagement as a key component to completing the trail evaluations. The event ended with the youth crew who built the trail hopping on bikes and testing out their work product, closely followed by most of the attendees. Construction is ongoing on the other four trail segments, and are expected to be finished and open for use in 2017.