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Backhoes chip away in early November at the natural walls below Ridge Road to shape a space between Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues for a new "pedestrian plaza" as part of the Westside Avenue Action Plan project. The plaza work is predicted for completion in 2019.
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WAAP replies on Pikes Peak Avenue closure, Midland Trail bridge underpass

Nov. 12, 2018; updated Nov. 21
       Two questions recently came to the Westside Pioneer regarding the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project that's rebuilding the corridor along
An early-November view shows Colorado Avenue's recently opened but still under-construction Adams Crossing Bridge (looking west). The concrete wall parallel to the bridge's north-side wall will help separate Fountain Creek (to its right) from a ramp (to its left) for the future Midland Trail's bridge underpass. Going west from the ramp, the trail will stay on the south bank of the creek for a few hundred feet and up to a to-be-installed pedestrian bridge connecting to the existing trail on the north side of the creek.
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Colorado/Manitou Avenue for about a mile and a half west of 31st Street.
  • QUESTION 1: A reader asked about project-related blockages on Pikes Peak Avenue at Ridge Road - the current one lasting since early October - while traffic is often narrowed to a single lane through the WAAP construction zone.
           “Emergency services cannot get access to the area, and I believe this is a dangerous situation,” the reader commented, alleging that project officials had once “assured” people that Pikes Peak would stay open during the project.
           Asked for clarification, Lisa Bachman, who oversees the project's public outreach, said she brought the question up with project leaders.
           “No one recalls a commitment to keep Pikes Peak open throughout construction having ever been made,” Bachman said. “Most of Pikes Peak is open, with the only exception being the intersection at Ridge Road. Having this intersection closed helps to accelerate the project to get it completed as quickly as possible,
    Colorado Avenue traffic near 33rd Street narrows to a single lane, controlled by a flagger, as crews with contractor Wildcat Construction work to install underground utilities and storm drains for the Westside Avenue Action Plan project
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    which we understand is what the public wants. Also, emergency crews are provided the weekly traffic advisories and are aware of the project closures.”
           UPDATE, Nov. 21: Information from the weekly WAAP project Traffic Advisory states that the Pikes Peak/Ridge closure will "last into February."
  • QUESTION 2: A resident near the project was curious if plans have changed for the routing of the Midland Trail as part of WAAP.
           Original plans had envisioned the trail, which currently ends for westbound users at Ridge Road near Fountain Creek, continuing west along the creek, north through the former Sunflower Motel property (now public land) and under the new, WAAP-built Adams Crossing Bridge at Columbia Road.
           According to Brett Hartzell, project manager for El Paso County, “the new Adams Crossing Bridge still has an underpass for the Midland Trail associated with it; however, after crossing under the bridge from the north and heading south, a loop will tie the Midland Trail back into the existing sidewalk along [the south side of] Colorado Avenue.”
           This means that the connection from the bridge to Ridge will be by sidewalk, once it is built as part of WAAP. Hartzell said the plans changed because the necessary property acquisitions are “taking much longer than expected, so this trail connection [using Fountain Creek west of Ridge] is planned to come in as a separate project after WAAP.”
           With an overall cost exceeding $35 million, elements of the multi-jurisdictional WAAP project are due for completion this year and into 2019. For more information, e-mail MSprings@PublicInfoTeam.com, or go to westsideplan.com/dt/index.html.

    Westside Pioneer article
    (Projects: Westside Avenue Action Plan)

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