Midland Trail from Chestnut to 21st nears completion

       A ribbon of cement is steadily replacing the once-overgrown vegetation that was the Midland Railroad right of way.
       Chris Lieber, trails coordinator for the Colorado Springs Parks Department, said he now expects that construction should be complete by the end of May.
       Until then, he asked that citizens stay off the trail, for safety reasons.
       I'm excited to get to the point where we can see the finished project in the ground, Lieber said. I'm already seeing people using it regularly. That's good to see, but we're asking people to be patient. We don't want trail users in harm's way.
       Improvements will continue once the trail is open. Later in the summer, Lieber said the city plans to add benches and interpretative signage telling about the old Midland Railroad. Trains ran along the route from 1887 to 1949, heading up Ute Pass.
       The Midland Trail goes from Chestnut Street to 21st Street. When done it will have a 12-foot wide concrete sidewalk, intended for walkers and bicyclists, paralleled by a 4-foot-wide, unpaved path for runners. Eventual plans call for extending the trail to Manitou Springs.
       Funding came from grants, state lottery funds for parks and the city's open-space sales tax.
       A dedication date is anticipated later in the summer, Lieber said.

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