Despite the cold winter weather, the Laramie greenbelt path under Snowy Range Road was opened to the public on Monday, Feb. 5, after being closed for repairs.
“I like walking outside in the morning, so this is perfect because the path is long enough and scenic at the same time,” University of Wyoming student Amanda Hungerford said.
A section of the greenbelt path was closed on Jan. 10 to begin repairs. The construction replaced portions of the concrete pathway that had deteriorated over time and the handrails separating the path from the river where damage had occurred due to cold weather. Erosion protection was also added to the area.
“While the repairs didn’t address the frequent flooding of that section of the greenbelt path, the Laramie Parks and Recreation is looking at solutions for the future,” Parks Division Supervisor Scott Hunter said.
Laramie River Greenbelt Park is spread over 5.75 miles and is located between Garfield and Spruce Street. The park contains the Laramie River Greenbelt Trailhead, a walking path, river fishing, a dog run area, a playground, a picnic area and restrooms.
During the peak of the summer, frequent flooding of the Laramie River occurs, causing part of the trail to be inaccessible to the public. In those situations, the city notifies the public to not cross the greenbelt trail sections that are underwater, as the force of moving water is highly dangerous.
“We were able to take a one hour walk in the summer a few years ago,” UW Graduate James Tucker said. “Flooding had only covered about one-third of the trail, so we walked the trail and viewed bird species inhabiting the marsh habitat. Also, wildflowers along the well-marked and paved path looked absolutely beautiful.”
City staff will continue monitoring water flow and ice buildup and will close the section of the path again if the conditions cause safety issues.
“At any given time, we have a staff go out and make an assessment on whether we can break the ice and open the path, or [if we] need to shut it down,” Hunter said.
The city is considering altering the route of the greenbelt path so it crosses the Laramie River, rather than running under Snowy Range Road. The Parks and Recreation Department is considering funding options for that potential project.