Long-time lodge sign removed for WAAP work; reinstallation likely in spring
The prominent, long-time Buffalo Lodge sign at Columbia Road and Colorado Avenue was taken down Oct. 16 as part of the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project.
The removal was necessary to make room for WAAP's new Adams Crossing Bridge that's being built on the avenue over Fountain Creek slightly north of the old span.
The absence of the roughly 50-square-foot metal-frame sign is expected to be temporary, until the bridge is completed next spring.
Regarding reinstallation, “we haven't sorted out the details,” said Dennis Barron, the WAAP project manager with El Paso County Engineering, noting that city right of way is one of the issues. “But it will probably be back in the same vicinity.”
The overall cost is being covered as part of the $30.9 million WAAP contract with Wildcat Construction, Barron said.
Facing traffic in either direction on Colorado Avenue, the sign sat near the entrance to the Garden of the Gods RV Resort at the northwest corner of Columbia and Colorado. Included on it was a big arrow pointing north, up Columbia Road
Columbia connects to El Paso Boulevard, a two-lane road that continues west into Manitou. The Buffalo Lodge, a 47-unit motel, is at 2 El Paso Blvd., just east of Manitou Springs city limits.
The current owners are Nathan and Torie Giffin, who are transforming the lodge into a bicycle resort. They will store the roughly 50-square foot sign on their property and plan to refurbish it over the winter, Torie said.
It had been damaged by wind last spring, she pointed out, with one of the panels being knocked out.
A Buffalo Lodge sign went in at Columbia and Colorado after the current avenue bridge over Fountain Creek was built in 1934, according to Westside historian Mel McFarland.
Until then, “El Paso was the old main road to Manitou,” he elaborated, so when through traffic started being directed over the bridge and up the avenue instead, a sign was needed “to point out the Buffalo Lodge.”
The multi-government WAAP project, which is rebuilding almost all the avenue infrastructure from 31st Street to the Manitou/Highway 24 interchange, began last December and is slated for completion by the end of 2018.
Westside Pioneer article