WHEEL NEWS: Aurora building $2 million regional bike trail expansion to E-470

Unidentified women ride their bikes on June 5 on the High Line Canal near East 2nd Avenue and Abilene Street in Aurora. (Heather A. Longway/ The Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Bike enthusiasts, rejoice: A vast recreational paved trail project in southeast Aurora has won a more than $2 million grant to patch a missing piece of a far-reaching trail system.

As it stands, the High Plains Trail is a yet unfinished portion of paved trail promising to connect the Denver metroplex. When it is completed in several years, the trail will span the E-470 corridor to connect many regional paths including the High Line Canal Trail and the Cherry Creek regional trail.

A completed trail system will eventually allow cyclists to connect Chatfield and Cherry Creek state parks, the Centennial Trail and the east Denver metroplex.

Currently, there’s only an isolated, middle section of the High Plains Trail completed, stretching from South Quebec Way to beyond South Ireland Way in Arapahoe County.

Enter Great Outdoors Colorado, a nonprofit that invests state lottery money into conservation and recreation projects. The group announced it will put about $2 million into finishing the western expansion of the project and connect it with Cherry Creek.

Construction will begin in 2020, according to the nonprofit, with a hopeful 2021 grand opening.