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Westside Avenue Action Plan: Gateway to Revitalization!
Long-Awaited Infrastructure Improvements Project Underway
The Westside Avenue Action Plan is a collaborative community project designed to bring short-term transportation and safety improvements and a long-range livable, walkable, economic vision for the 1.5 miles of US 24 Business West (W. Colorado and Manitou avenues between N. 31st Street and the US 24 interchange). Construction of this multimodal transportation and safety improvements project began in January 2017 following completion of a three-year collaborative, citizen engaged study and design process.
Project Limits: From the intersection of 31st Street and Colorado Avenue to just east of the US 24 Interchange. Fountain Creek improvements by the Garden of the Gods RV Resort and connection of the Midland Trail.
Contractor: Wildcat Construction Company
Construction Management Services: CH2M
Engineering Design Services: Felsburg Holt & Ullevig
This vital link between the national historic districts of Old Colorado City in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs is in need of revitalization if it is to be a viable connection between these two vibrant and popular destinations. The Westside Avenue Action Plan is the first step toward much needed infrastructure improvements to address safety and efficient travel in the corridor. These improvements will set the stage for economic revitalization and other future corridor enhancements and positively contribute to the region's economic vitality.
(Click Image to Enlarge)
Although the challenges in this corridor are many and diverse, and transportation improvements alone will not solve all of them, the improvements are intended to serve as a catalyst for other enhancements. The desired result will ultimately bring a renewed identity and vitality to this corridor.
Funding: The twenty-four month, $30 million infrastructure project is funded through voter-approved Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority tax revenues.
- 2014: Preliminary design and community decision to name new bridge as Adams Crossing
- 2015: Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between El Paso County and the Colorado Department of Transportation; devolution/transfer of 1.3 miles of W. Colorado/Manitou Avenues road right-of-way (just east of U.S. 24 interchange to 31st Street intersection)
- Feb. 2016: 90% design complete, began property acquisition
- Dec. 2016: Ceremonial Groundbreaking
- Winter 2016: Start of utility location and vegetation removal
- Jan. 2017: Construction began
- Project completion anticipated Fall 2019.
Click any of the following with an asterisk (*) for more details.
Project Overview (opens in new window)
Fact Sheet (opens in new window)
Quarterly Project Update Flyers (opens in new window)
Agency representatives have made a high level, regional commitment to work together and with area residents, businesses, community groups, and other stakeholders in the development of this citizen-driven plan based on community values for the much-needed improvements along this vital corridor.
The Westside Avenue Action Plan study is a collaborative effort among multiple agencies that have jurisdiction along the study segment:
- El Paso County
- City of Colorado Springs
- City of Manitou Springs
- Colorado Department of Transportation
- Colorado Springs Utilities
- Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority
- And, the numerous elected officials, businesses and citizens who have helped make this project happen.
- Provide for safe and efficient transportation along the corridor
- Create a compatible link between the two vibrant historic districts, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs
- Serve as a catalyst for economic revitalization and other future corridor improvements
- Provide Fountain Creek improvements to mitigate any future flooding
New Roadway Alignment/Major Construction Activities
The preferred roadway configuration recommended by the community is for 3 lanes along Manitou and W. Colorado avenues between 31st Street and the U.S. 24 interchange (one traffic lane eastbound and one westbound and a dedicated center left-turn). Stakeholders preferred the 3-lane option because it better regulates vehicle speeds, improves traffic safety with the addition of a dedicated left turn lane (designed to reduce accidents primarily caused by cars stopping to make left turns on the current cross section), safely accommodates pedestrians and bicycle traffic and provides room for amenities stakeholders identified as important considerations reflecting the community values they identified.
A new bridge and underpass at the Columbia Road/Adams crossing will be constructed. About 1000 feet of Fountain Creek will be rerouted to manage high water during big storms. A pedestrian bridge over Fountain Creek in the area near the Manitou Springs arch sign will be built, as well as a wall along the north side of West Colorado Avenue/Manitou Avenue. Two main road intersections, at Ridge Road and at the Columbia Road Bridge/Adams Crossing will undergo full reconstruction.
Other aspects of the project include:
- Underground electric and storm sewer
- Major upgrades to the old water and sanitary sewer systems
- Sidewalks with curbs and gutter on both sides of the road
- Bike lanes on both sides of the road
- Connection of the Midland Trail, with the addition of a pedestrian bridge
- Street lighting consistent with the historic Westside character
Project Map (opens in new window)
Ridge Road Improvements
The north leg of Ridge Road at Colorado Avenue will close with a cul-de-sac and a new traffic signal at the “T” intersection. This modification enables the addition of a Trail Plaza to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle facilities as well as a queue jump bus stop to facilitate Mountain Metro busses to easily exit and reenter traffic. A new aesthetic wall will be constructed between Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues to delineate the Trail Plaza area.
Columbia Road/Adams Crossing Improvements
W. Colorado Avenue will be shifted slightly to the north to the old historic trolley alignment, which will:
- Allow construction of a new higher bridge (Adams Crossing) over Fountain Creek without impacting traffic flow
- Accommodate required Fountain Creek improvements, widening and deepening the creek bed
- Provide a grade-separated Midland Trail connection under the new bridge
- Minimize property impacts and construction costs
To enable construction of the new bridge and accommodate the new 3-lane roadway configuration, bike lanes and sidewalks, 1000 feet of Fountain Creek will be relocated approximately 50 feet to the north of its current location. In addition, a new wall will be constructed along the north side of Colorado Avenue as well as a new pedestrian bridge over Fountain Creek near the Manitou Springs arch sign.
Design Phase Public Process
Citizens, businesses, community groups and other stakeholders were actively engaged through stakeholder workshops and public meetings in the study phase providing ideas and opinions about the best way to shape the corridor to meet current and future transportation needs. Throughout the study, public input was solicited on how to best address the lack of sufficient pedestrian and bicycle access, stormwater drainage, auxiliary lanes and mobility, access to businesses and residences and street lighting, as well as environmental and historical sensitivities. For more information click on the “Public Meetings” tab.
The County and project team are committed to keep the community and travelling public informed of construction progress throughout the duration of the project. Sign up to receive construction impact notices and project e-newsletters.
Traffic Advisories /Construction Impact Notices: sign up by sending an email to Msprings@publicinfoteam.com
Project e-newsletters: sign up by sending an email to info@WestsideAvenuePlan.com
Project Hotline: 719-301-3801
Project Website: www.WestsideAvenuePlan.com
“Residents and businesses in the area have long recognized the need for traffic and safety improvements through this area. Not only will it be a better place to live and do business, but it also helps us attract more tourism dollars to the entire region.” --Sallie Clark, former El Paso County Commissioner, District 3 (Westside Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Ute Pass)