No Man’s misses on MIPP, but more money, maybe

       At first the request was for $9.5 million. Then it appeared all that might be available was $2.5 million. But based on a recent decision by an appointed commission of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), it appears that nothing will come of the combined Manitou Springs/Colorado Springs/El Paso County application for a grant to fix up parts of the Westside's “No Man's Land.”
       The three governments had hoped to replace the 75-year-old bridge near Columbia Road, upgrade drainage and utilities systems and add curbs, gutters and sidewalks along the Colorado Avenue/Manitou Avenue corridor between about 33rd Street and Manitou's Highway 24 interchange.
       The request, submitted last winter, was from CDOT's Maintenance Incentive Pilot Program (MIPP). CDOT had set up MIPP to give money equal to 20 years in maintenance costs to communities that would take over roadway segments the state has been responsible for.
       The local entities took the position that the 20-year amount ought to encompass more than basic maintenance costs such as pothole fixes and occasional pavement overlays - that it should also involve bringing the long-neglected “No Man's” corridor up to modern levels of roadworthiness. However, this position evidently priced the local project out of the running, as CDOT's Transportation Commission (TC) ranked it last among 11 applications (only 6 grants were awarded).
       Colorado Springs City Engineer Cam McNair has not given up hope entirely. “On a slightly optimistic note, the TC did agree to revisit this in the fall in order to attempt to fund the remaining projects that have positive ROI [return of investment], including our West Colorado Avenue, from CDOT contingency funds,” he states in an e-mail. “However, this will depend heavily on whether there are further budget cuts from transportation at the state and federal levels.”

Westside Pioneer article