Bridges, sidewalks mark continued work on Midland Trail extension

       New bridges and sidewalks are the latest signs of progress on the Midland Trail extension west of 21st Street.

Asphalt was being dug up this week along the east side of 21st Street in preparation for laying of a sidewalk that will be part of the Midland Trail extension.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Two of the four planned Fountain Creek crossings went in last week near Vermijo Park. The sidewalk work, including new and repaired sections, is between 21st and 25th, where the city is designating public streets (21st, Cuchar-ras and 25th) for the trail instead of constructing a new, paved off-road route.
       The only other non-off-road gap is between Ridge Road south of Colorado Avenue and Columbia Road north of the avenue. The difference is that segment has no sidewalk at all (nor crosswalks), and the city has designated no funding to put any in.
       The current work concludes a four-segment city project this year to connect the Midland Trail - which starts in America the Beautiful Park - with Manitou Springs' Creekwalk Trail. Even-Preisser has been the contractor on all four segments.
       The completion date for the extension project as a whole is anticipated in October, according to Sarah Bryarly, interim development manager for City Parks.
       The overall construction cost to develop the Midland Trail west of 21st Street has previously been estimated at $3.3 million, coming from state and federal grants and city open-space funds.
       On the 21st-to-25th sidewalk, Bryarly was asked about the rules for bicyclists, in that they are allowed elsewhere on the Midland Trail. Cyclists aren't prohibited on the sidewalk, she indicated in an e-mail, “but if you are a cyclist you would probably prefer to be on the road given the low volume of traffic on the street.”
       She added that the fence opening just west of 26th Street, which has become popular with street users seeking convenient access to the trail (including its recently built 26th Street underpass), will be closed once construction is complete.

Westside Pioneer article