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Until the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project, a bridge built in 1934 had carried Colorado Avenue traffic over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road. It was replaced last October by the new Adams Crossing Bridge. However, a 29-foot-wide portion of the 60-foot-long old span remained, and is being demolished in late January and early February by WAAP contractor Wildcat Construction. The photo above, shot Jan. 31, was taken while Wildcat was taking steps to minimize the amount of debris that would fall into the creek during the demo. Traffic on the new bridge (right) is unaffected by the work to remove the old bridge. However, typical of the issues faced by the project, the demolition is taking longer than the "three to four days" predicted beforehand by the project team.
Westside Pioneer photo
On Feb. 4, four days after the photo above (and shot from a similar vantage point), some of the surface on the old bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road has been removed. The new Adams Crossing Bridge is at far right.
Westside Pioneer photo

Problems perceived in 1877 with the 'Manitou Road' (where WAAP project is today)

Feb. 6, 2019
       Editor's note: To show that problems with Colorado/Manitou Avenue are nothing new, a Westside Pioneer reader provided a copy of the following 1877 write-up in the Colorado Mountaineer, a Colorado Springs publication at that time. The historical perspective seems particularly appropriate, considering the difficulties encountered by the current, multi-jurisdictional Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project in rebuilding the section recently known as “no man's land” and, in the late 1870s (at least to Colorado Springs and Colorado City residents), as "the Manitou road."
       Accompanying the text are photos of the demolition that started in late January of the last half of the 1934 Colorado Avenue bridge over Fountain Creek. It has been replaced by the new Adams Crossing Bridge - named after prominent local citizen Charles Adams, who'd lived close to that spot from 1879 until his death in 1895. So the article below was written even before even he was here!
In a Feb. 6 photo, the old bridge's girders are mostly exposed as a backhoe goes after the remaining concrete. The girders will eventually be lifted out. With the Westside Avenue Action Plan project as a whole now predicted for "substantial completion" by June (with various elements continuing into the summer), construction of the Midland Trail underneath the new Adams Crossing Bridge (far right) is anticipated within that time frame.
Westside Pioneer photo

THE MANITOU ROAD
       Last year [1876] our county commissioners expended considerable money in fixing up and repairing the road from here to Manitou by Colorado City. This money was laid out to good advantage and great benefit has arisen from it, but the work is not yet completed. For a distance of upwards of half a mile the road is still almost impassable after a heavy storm. It is true that distance is through Colorado City and should be fixed by the authorities of that town, but there seems no disposition on their part to do it, yet it ought to be done.
       We doubt if there is five miles of road in Colorado more used than that from our city to Manitou, and it should be made as perfect as possible. Even over the road fixed by the county last year, there are places where the wagons have worn through the gravel that was put on, and great ruts sink down for a foot or more in the soft dirt and mud beneath. When a road once begins to get cut up, it soon becomes very
This photo from 1926 was taken nearly 50 years after the article on this page was published, but the location is within the current Westside Avenue Action Plan area and gives an idea of what that part of Colorado Avenue looked like decades ago, before it was paved. (Note that this section, at least, appears to be in better shape than the avenue was described to be in 1877.) The view is westward, with the road curving left to the bridge over Fountain Creek.
Courtesy of Mel McFarland
bad, unless it is attended to at once. We therefore call upon the commissioners to at once look after the matter.
       We know the commissioners plead poverty in the finances of the county, but we say this piece of road should be kept up in the best possible manner, even if others have to be neglected. The county taxes or the bulk of them are paid right along the line of the road. All the strangers who visit us pass over it, some of them hundreds of times. We have as a general thing excellent roads in every other direction, even at the worst seasons of the year, but as all our readers know, some places along this line become almost impassable at certain times, and especially in the spring of the year.
       The council of this city could well afford to make an appropriation for the working of this road, and the citizens could make donations; for say what we please, one of the great resources of Colorado Springs, is its pleasant surroundings, and especially Manitou and adjacent places. Everything that can be done, then, should be to make our surroundings pleasant, and give pleasure to those who visit us. For three fourths of the year this road is equal to any in the United States, but the other quarter it is far from it, and at times, as we noticed it last week in going to Manitou, it was in about as bad condition as it possibly could be.

From the Colorado Mountaineer publication, 1877
(Projects: Westside Avenue Action Plan)

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