Gold Hill Mesa: 21st St. work to start Aug. 1
Several updates on the Gold Hill Mesa development emerged from a press conference June 6.
The work is Phase 1 of the widening; future work will add two lanes down to Broadway Street once plans are finalized for the planned commercial area southeast of 21st Street and Highway 24, developer Bob Willard said.
However, he noted, “Our yards may be small, but the ability to move around (through the development's “green” streets) is very large.”
No one is currently living at the site.
The subdivision as a whole “will be very walkable,” he said. Other than employment, he elaborated, “people who live on Gold Hill Mesa will not have to leave to get services.” This in itself should result in the subdivision contributing less to traffic counts than city engineers anticipate, he said.
The easterly pond (#2) has been roughed in and is already “acting as an interim erosion control pond,” he said. It does not need to be completed until construction begins in future years on Filings 4 and 5 on the east part of the property. The westerly pond (#1), which will be located near the commercial area, will handle that storm drainage, as well as that which will be piped to it from Filings 1, 2 and 3 on the western part of the property, Brinton explained. “We hope to have it (#1) functional by Aug. 15,” he said.
The ponds were required as part of the development review process to minimize the washing of old tailings into the creek.
Believing he cannot wait for the proposed Highway 24 expansion - which is still in the planning process and lacks construction funding - Willard said he is talking with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) about an interim solution for at-grade intersection at 15th Street that would allow limited access and egress for Gold Hill at the highway and keep the current 14th Street outlet. No decisions have been made, but if a stoplight is deemed unworkable, a 15th Street right-in, right- out scenario on the Gold Hill side of the highway could work, he said. CDOT's tentative long-range plan is an overpass at 15th and to eliminate the 14th Street outlet.
At a ceremony June 1, in front of Gold Hill's Exchange Building, a specially commissioned art piece, titled “Steel Autumn,” by Michael Theisen, was unveiled. The 17- foot-tall tree is made of steel and copper, displaying 3,000 hand sculpted leaves. “We were looking for something to anchor our gathering place (the Exchange),” Willard said at the ceremony. After seeing Theisen's work, Willard asked him to do the piece for the site.
In his comments, Theisen said the idea for the work stemmed from his childhood in Iowa. “I remember how the leaves would change,” he said. “All I could think about was, 'In a couple of months I'm going to be freezing.' I can enjoy the fall now.”
A long-time Colorado Springs sign-maker, Theisen said he had wanted to focus on his artistic inclinations, and finally decided to do so about four years ago.
The work was on display this week, but may be placed in storage for a few months to avoid possible construction-related damage, according to D. Wendal Attig of the Gold Hill development team.
Westside Pioneer article