CDBG funds planned for Monument St. sidewalk

       The Manitou Boulevard sidewalk project is nearly over… although a sidewalk extension down part of Monument Street could keep crews in the area a while longer.

The new retaining wall and sidewalk on the north side of Manitou Boulevard, just west of Chestnut Street.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Mike Chaves of City Engineering said he has gotten “ a couple of calls and e-mails” from people happy with the work by Alco Construction, which filled in missing sidewalk on both sides of Manitou Boulevard between Chestnut and Monument streets.
       The last major task was building a roughly 400-foot-long retaining wall to make room for sidewalks on the north side of the boulevard just west of Chestnut. The only work on Manitou Boulevard that remains is some seeding, Chaves said.
       The roughly $150,000 project was paid with the annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that come to the Colorado Springs Housing Development Division from the federal government. The older Westside is a division-identified Neighborhood Strategy Area (NSA) that qualifies it for the funds.
       Manitou Boulevard was identified as needing sidewalks because the neighborhood street gets a noticeable amount of sometimes-speeding “cut-through” traffic between the downtown and 17th Street. Another reason was its many pedestrians, including those around the Boys & Girls Club and a large church.
       The city's recent interest in Monument Street resulted from neighborhood concerns about schoolchildren walking in the street there. Right now the only sidewalk is on the street's south side, and it stops 200 to 300 feet below Monument's intersection with Manitou Boulevard.
       According to Chaves, the city plans to fill in that missing sidewalk - either soon, if arrangements can be worked out with Alco, or later in the year with another contractor.
       Another CDBG project set for this year is to upgrade and/or add sidewalks, curbs and gutters as needed on Armstrong Avenue west of 17th Street. The work had been planned by Don Sides, the former CDBG construction head who retired last fall.

Looking down from Manitou Boulevard (which curves north to make a T-intersection with Monument Street), the lack of sidewalks can be seen on Monument. CDBG funds are planned to create 200 to 300 feet to connect with existing sidewalk on the street's south (right) side.
Westside Pioneer photo

       According to Valorie Jordan, director of the Housing Development Division, Sides' replacement has been hired and is in “the training stage.” She added that the division plans to meet with the Organization of Westside Neighbors, the city-recognized advocacy group for the older Westside, “within the next month or two to discuss future projects” in that area.

Westside Pioneer article