Canyon Rim Trail headed for CIP process

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By Jennifer Garcia

After its inception five years ago, the Canyon Rim Trail may get to see the light of day if it is accepted as a Capital Improvement Project.

The CIP application process began Oct. 20, 2008, with deadline for submission of applications set for Dec. 19, 2008.

The Canyon Rim Trail will be an important addition to the trail system, as it will serve as a connector for the town of Los Alamos.

Parks Division Manager Dick McIntyre said that he and his staff are re-working the cost for the project because all of their old estimates from five years ago are no longer valid. He said that he should have new estimates ready by Dec. 19.

“The trails have been around for a while. Once this is built, it will become one of the most used parks,” McIntyre said.

He said that they are planning to make the trail multi-use. It will include an asphalt surface, which will span 10 feet and bridges that will span 180 feet.

“This will be a community builder, a connector. It'll get people out and will help with their health problems (by exercising),” he said. McIntyre said that they are planning a basically flat surface for the trail, so that everyone can use it.

Open Space Specialist Craig Martin has been an integral part in planning the Canyon Rim Trail. He's currently working with McIntyre to complete the drawings for the project.

Some might say he's an expert when it comes to mapping trails, since he's currently responsible for making the county's hiking trails, as well as maintaining them.

He and his volunteers put a lot of time and effort into forging trails for Los Alamos residents to enjoy. McIntyre is no stranger to working on trails, either. In 1980, he began working on them in Maryland. He and Martin continue their hard work in an effort to get the drawings ready by next month.

“We need a strong set of 30 percent drawings,” McIntyre said. They both stressed that this sort of project takes extensive planning. “If it was just a dirt path scratch, we'd have done it a long time ago,” Martin said.

McIntyre said that he and Martin are just waiting for the formal “go ahead” to begin work on the trail project.

“It makes sense to go through the CIP process,” he said. “This trail will be a major draw.” He said that the beginning of the project would depend on how things go with the CIP process, and when they get funding.

“The scenery is incomparable. This will be an exciting park,” McIntyre said. Martin added that they plan to make the canyons and “beautiful” views a focus point when mapping out the project.