The Board of El Paso County Commissioners announced with a ribbon cutting ceremony today substantial completion of a safety and infrastructure construction project known as the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP).
More than 100 community members, elected officials, businesses, citizens, contractor crews and project team gathered today near the new Adams Crossing Bridge on Manitou Avenue over Fountain Creek to celebrate the multi-jurisdictional project and cut the ribbon signifying substantial completion of the project that began construction in 2017. The infrastructure revitalization project is designed to improve safety, mobility and provide momentum for renewed economic vitality for the 1.5-mile corridor along W. Colorado and Manitou Avenues between 31st Street and the U.S. 24 Interchange. The corridor connects the two historic districts of Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs.
The $30.9 million construction project is funded primarily through the voter-approved Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (with contributions from El Paso County, City of Colorado Springs and City of Manitou Springs), with additional funding from major stakeholders including Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), El Paso County Road and Bridge Fund and the Manitou Springs Urban Renewal Authority.
“The west side of Colorado Springs, City of Manitou Springs, the travelling public and the businesses and residents of the area have been waiting for this project for many years,” said Commissioner Stan VanderWerf, El Paso County District 3. “The WAAP project is a success story of how numerous jurisdictions and communities can work together to make a significant and necessary change come about that will benefit everyone for generations. Modernizing 100-year-old infrastructure, accommodating other modes of transportation, and enabling “slow and social” vehicle travel, all while maintaining access to more than 100 businesses, this is a remarkable accomplishment.”
Major accomplishments of the project include:
- W. Colorado/Manitou Avenue transformed into a three-lane roadway, with a single lane in each direction and a center left turn lane accommodating 2040 projected traffic volumes and easy access to the many unique restaurants, shops and motels along the corridor
- Bicycle lanes added to both sides of the road, capitalizing on the area’s recognition as a bicycle-friendly community
- New sidewalks, curb and gutter, and stormwater drainage
- Undergrounding of overhead electric lines, and old-time character streetlights installed, complementing the aesthetic and historic nature of the corridor
- Connected the end of Midland Trail, including a trail underpass beneath Columbia Road/Adams Crossing Bridge
- Major upgrades to the old water and sanitary sewer systems
- Americans with Disability Act improvements
- Trail plaza and trail connection constructed on Ridge Road between W. Colorado Avenue and W. Pikes Peak Avenue
- 1000 feet of Fountain Creek redirected 50 feet to the north of its current location
- New, more efficient Adams Crossing Bridge over Fountain Creek, with a higher clearance to accommodate a trail and 100-year flood conditions